7/26/2013 10:05 P.M. ET
Schumaker dekes Choo into out at second
By Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers infielders Skip Schumaker and Hanley Ramirez could have a future in Hollywood after showing off their acting talents in Thursday's game against the Reds.
With the Dodgers trailing, 4-1, and one out in the top of the eighth, Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo attempted to steal second base with slugger Joey Votto at the plate. Votto lined a shot up the middle to center fielder Andre Ethier and Choo slid into second as Ramirez faked like he was fielding a throw. Schumaker also ran over to the bag, making emphatic hand gestures and yelling. Choo got up and ran back toward first, then turned around when he realized the ball had dropped for a hit and was tagged out by Ramirez.
"If you cause enough chaos at second base, usually the runner thinks something is going on," Schumaker said. "They don't know what the [heck] is going on. I think that's what happened. He slid and didn't know where the ball was."
What else goes into a play like that?
"You just watch the runner as he steals and you see if he looks in or not. That usually tells the infielder if it's a hit-and-run situation, or if it's a straight steal," Schumaker said. "Last night, I kind of had a feeling with Votto up that it wasn't going to be a hit and run."
While Ramirez recorded the out, Schumaker orchestrated the performance.
"He was just laughing more than anything," Schumaker said of Ramirez. "He didn't really know what was going on. He was just covering the bag."
Thursday wasn't the first time the Dodgers deked a runner attempting to steal second. Schumaker and Nick Punto also pulled off the feat during a series against the Braves.
"It happens all the time, but people don't fall for it too much," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
Schumaker said he fell for the trick once in the Minor Leagues, so he can sympathize with Choo.
"I've been there before, where I panic," Schumaker said. "I've been on the other side of it and it's not a fun feeling to have. "
Limping Kemp hopeful for Aug. 6 return from DL
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp told the Dodgers his sprained left ankle is feeling better, but the center fielder still had a noticeable limp on Friday and has not yet resumed baseball-related activities.
The Dodgers remain optimistic Kemp will be ready to play when he's eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 6 against the Cardinals.
"At this point, I'm just kind of hopeful that he's going to be ready to roll in 15 days," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's still limping a little bit. Yesterday, he came in and said he felt really good."
Kemp sprained his ankle on an awkward slide into home in the ninth inning of Sunday's 9-2 win against the Nationals, his first game back from a DL stint with a right shoulder injury. He blamed himself for the injury because he was jogging home from third on Carl Crawford's grounder to first with the bases loaded and two outs and was not expecting a play at the plate.
The Dodgers hope Kemp can learn from the incident.
"Everything you do as a player you want to learn from," Mattingly said. "You make mistakes on the field and you want guys to learn from that and get better from that. Matt doesn't want to do that again. So, you'd like to think that makes him a little bit better."
Mattingly content, but wouldn't oppose further moves
LOS ANGELES -- With less than one week remaining before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Dodgers have already dealt for starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco and reliever Carlos Marmol, and manager Don Mattingly said he would be content if the club kept the current roster in order.
"I wouldn't be afraid to go forward with it," Mattingly said.
But if general manager Ned Colletti could make a deal to improve the club, Mattingly would be all for it.
"I think you always want to try to get a little better," Mattingly said. "If you can get a little better, you try to get better. That being said, I think that's constantly always happening, you're never just standing pat and saying, 'OK, we're good enough.' I think you're always trying to get a little better."
Mattingly said he and Colletti have discussed different areas where the Dodgers could improve and which players are on the market. But the manager did not offer specifics.
"I hate talking about any one specific area, because you're basically saying another guy is not doing their job," Mattingly said. "I like our guys."
• Dodgers reliever Jose Dominguez, placed on the disabled list on Tuesday due to a strained left quadriceps, has started throwing off flat ground. The club expects the right-hander to miss only the minimum 15 days.
"I think we're close to that, he should be hopefully getting ready to pitch," Mattingly said.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.