4/17/2014 1:52 A.M. ET
Kershaw continues progress in injury recovery
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, currently on the disabled list, came out of his bullpen session Tuesday well enough to play catch from 100 feet Wednesday and flip breaking balls on flat ground.
Manager Don Mattingly said Kershaw will throw another bullpen session Thursday as he continues his recovery from a strained teres major muscle in his upper back.
"He's moving forward and feeling better about it," Mattingly said.
Mattingly, however, said there still is no timetable on Kershaw's return and the medical department is still calling the shots.
"Stan [Conte, athletic trainer] decides how far and how fast," Mattingly said. "It's not in Clayton's hands."
X-rays negative after pitch hurts Hanley's hand
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez said he hopes to play Thursday after escaping serious injury when he was hit on the back of the left hand by a Ryan Vogelsong pitch in the seventh inning of Wednesday night's 2-1 loss to the Giants.
X-rays were negative on Ramirez, and after Wednesday's game, manager Don Mattingly said, "We'll see where he is tomorrow or the next day. I'm sure it will be a little sore. He can play once he's able to squeeze a bat."
Ramirez was leading off the inning in a 1-1 game when he was struck by a 90 mph fastball on a 3-2 pitch. He dropped his bat, angrily threw off his helmet and appeared to be in serious pain as athletic trainer Stan Conte took off Ramirez's batting glove.
Ramirez indicated he wanted to stay in the game, but was convinced to retreat to the clubhouse for the X-rays. He was replaced by pinch-runner Justin Turner. After the game, Ramirez's hand was swollen and, he said, in pain.
"X-rays were negative and if I'm good tomorrow, I'll be in there," said Ramirez. "Now I'll have to see how I feel tomorrow morning. I'll get here early for treatment and if I can go, I'll do everything I can to be in there."
Ramirez has had a series of injuries as a Dodger, including fractured ribs when hit by a Joe Kelly fastball in Game 1 of last year's National League Championship Series in St. Louis.
Last year, Ramirez also missed playing time with a torn thumb ligament, strained hamstring (both occurring at AT&T Park) and lower back problems. This year he played in all 15 games.
"Everyone knows what I went through last year," he said. "You get hit on the hand, it's easy to get any damage, so I was wondering. Yeah, he got me good. I was just praying right away it wasn't broken. Thank God it's good."
Ramirez said he had already iced his hand twice in the clubhouse and would ice it twice at the hotel.
Dodgers relieved Billingsley only has tendinitis
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley, currently on the disabled list, has tendinitis in his right elbow, but no further ligament damage, an MRI revealed Wednesday.
The news was considered by the club as a positive for Billingsley, who is returning from Tommy John reconstruction performed a year ago.
Billingsley felt a popping sensation 10 days ago in a Minor League rehab assignment. After letting the discomfort dissipate, he resumed throwing off a mound Tuesday but cut short the bullpen session after eight pitches because of elbow tightness.
"We're going to slow him down a little bit, but it's good news," manager Don Mattingly said.
There is no timetable on when Billingsley will resume throwing off a mound.
Puig issues statement about magazine article
SAN FRANCISCO -- Through his agent, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig declined Wednesday to respond to an article by Los Angeles Magazine detailing the Cuban defector's harrowing journey to the Major Leagues.
"I'm aware of the recent articles and news accounts," Puig is quoted in a release provided to the Dodgers by the agent, Adam Katz. "I understand that people are curious and have questions, but I will have no comment on this subject. I'm represented on this matter, and I'm only focused on being a productive teammate and helping the Dodgers win games."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.