6/12/2014 12:32 A.M. ET
Dodgers want Puig to be more decisive on slides
By Manny Randhawa / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wants right fielder Yasiel Puig to be more decisive when it comes to making up his mind on whether to slide or not. Puig missed Sunday's series finale against the Rockies in Colorado after leaving Saturday's game with a strained right hip flexor that he incurred while sliding into second base.
"It seems like guys get hurt when they're in-between," Mattingly said before Wednesday's game against the Reds. "I think the one thing that's a problem a little bit with Yasiel is last week, the hip thing kind of came from sliding, so now it's like he doesn't necessarily want to do it again, right?
"So I think we're getting a little bit of that. But I think we've always been taught as players to, if you're gonna slide, slide. You're better off sliding, making the decision to slide, than not sliding or try to change your mind. So I think it'd be good for him to just make his mind up."
Mattingly pointed out that Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero has a similar problem.
"It's funny, because our Minor League guys told us that Alex has trouble sliding," Mattingly said. "I don't know what it is, but seriously, in Spring Training we thought he was going to get hurt. They said Yasiel was kind of the same way when he came over. They had to really help him with that, and I didn't really notice it until he had a couple recently that were kind of rough-looking. But Alex's were scarier."
Hanley a late scratch with shoulder irritation
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was a late scratch from Wednesday's game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park due to acromioclavicular joint irritation in his right shoulder.
Chone Figgins was moved from the seventh spot in the order to the second spot and played third base, while Miguel Rojas was inserted into the seventh spot in the lineup, playing shortstop.
Ramirez, whs is batting .255 with 10 homers and 38 RBIs, did pinch-hit with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh inning of a 5-0 loss to the Reds, grounding into a double play.
"We knew it in BP a little bit," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "I could tell by the way he was throwing the ball across the infield, he was having trouble getting loose and as he kept throwing it seemed like it got better, but I think with the delay right before the game [with the tarp coming out onto the field] we had to pull the plug; it started stiffening up again."
Mattingly said the soreness only manifests when Ramirez throws, and he is able to swing the bat without any problems.
"At this point it does not [concern me]," Mattingly said. "But, again, I think it can turn into more, but we'll just have to wait and see. It sounds like he could have a tough time playing tomorrow, but again, we'll see in the morning."
Dodgers' Kemp ejected in second inning
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers left fielder Matt Kemp was ejected in the second inning of Wednesday's 5-0 loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Seth Buckminster.
Kemp was called out on strikes, and with subsequent batter Andre Ethier at the plate, Kemp was ejected by Buckminster for arguing from the Los Angeles dugout. It was Kemp's second ejection this season and the eighth of his career.
"It's just frustrating, you know?" Kemp said after the game. "Some pitches you think are balls get called strikes. You don't want to ever have the bat taken out of your hand for something you don't think is a strike.
"I love to play, I love to win. And when I feel like things get in the way of that, it makes me be mad, so I'm not ever gonna think it's OK if I feel like somebody's in the way of helping my team win a ballgame. We're playing pretty good at the moment, and it's just, what happened happened. We've got to turn the page and get ready for tomorrow."
"It was a little buildup of [Tuesday] night, too," manager Don Mattingly said. "I know [Kemp] was frustrated with [home-plate umpire Jim Reynolds] last night, and today it kind of seemed like it carried over a little bit. I really didn't think [Buckminster] was going to throw him there, and that's why I was kind of trying to say there's no reason -- all you've got to do is turn your head and you don't have to listen, you can ignore it."
Kemp is hitting .247 with five homers and 18 RBIs this season.
Billingsley has setback with elbow
CINCINNATI -- Right-hander Chad Billingsley had a setback in his bullpen session in Arizona on Tuesday, in which he threw approximately 30 pitches and felt discomfort in his elbow.
Billingsley underwent Tommy John surgery on his elbow in 2013 and after beginning rehab, was shut down due to flexor tendinitis that developed in his right arm two months ago. He restarted the rehab assignment with an outing for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, reaching his 30-pitch limit in 1 2/3 innings.
"They've stopped his rehab," Mattingly said. "I think he's going to see Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache, and we'll find out more from there. It's frustrating for him. For us it's tough, because you don't really have him until you have him. Hopefully it's another little minor thing like he had last time, but we'll see.
Mattingly offers clues into Dodgers' road success
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has a guess as to why his club has fared so well on the road, going into Wednesday's contest against the Reds with a Major League-best mark of 22-12, versus 13-19 at home.
"The one thing I like about the road is that guys are in a smaller environment," Mattingly said. "Everybody's kind of in that locker room together. And at home, it's so big now, and it's kind of cut up where there's a quiet room, there's a locker room, there's a weight room, and people can go back and get in the sauna or whatever. It's all good stuff, but it just doesn't seem like ... that's the only thing, it's a total guess: that we're not quite as all in one room as you are at home.
"It's just that there's banter that goes back and forth between guys and so, again, you have different routines and you end up doing different things."
• The timetable for left fielder Carl Crawford's return to the lineup is still uncertain. Crawford has been on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle since May 25.
"Carl is a little better today, but still kind of treading water, it seems like, as far as moving forward," Mattingly said. "It's not really going forward that fast. It's kind of moving, but not very fast right now."
• Third baseman Juan Uribe, who has been on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring since May 21, continues to make progress towards a return to the lineup. He hasn't yet run the bases, but he did run again Wednesday and took infield.
"Uribe had another really good day running-wise," Mattingly said. "Once he gets on the bases, that gives us a better indication of where we go with him. I'm not sure if he'll get on the bases tomorrow, but he is doing better."
• Catcher A.J. Ellis may return to the lineup any day now. He sprained his right ankle during the celebration of Josh Beckett's no-hitter on May 25.
"It's just going to be [head trainer Stan Conte's] call when A.J.'s ready," Mattingly said.
• The Dodgers have signed their fifth-round selection in last week's First-Year Player Draft, third baseman Jared Walker (McEachern HS, Ga.), as well as ninth-round pick Matthew Campbell (RHP, Clemson).
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.