CHICAGO — Desperate for production from left field, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Casey Blake could wind up out there when he returns from the disabled list.
Blake is expected to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday after missing nearly a month with a staph infection in his left elbow.
Blake came into Spring Training as the incumbent third baseman and still figures to play there, but the productive play of utility infielders Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles, coupled with the lack of production in left field, has Mattingly thinking of an occasional switch.
“We’ve pretty much been platooning with Jerry Sands and Jay Gibbons,” Mattingly said. “Marcus [Thames, on the DL with a quad strain] is part of that situation when we get him healthy. We still know what he can do, and if he does what we thought he can do would put a little clarity there, and Blake could also.
“We talked all along that he could play left field, right field, be that kind of guy. If we get all the pieces back, he can be part of left field, too.”
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The Dodgers have started six left fielders this year — Sands, Gibbons, Thames, Tony Gwynn, Xavier Paul and Jamie Hoffmann. The only home runs from the position are Thames’ two and one by Sands in Saturday’s 9-2 loss to the White Sox.
CHICAGO — An MRI on Saturday revealed a slight lower abdominal strain for Dodgers infielder Juan Uribe, who could be headed to the disabled list.
Uribe could be the one to make room for the activation of shortstop Rafael Furcal, who arrived in Chicago later Saturday and worked out after the Dodgers’ 9-2 loss to the White Sox. Furcal could be activated Sunday after missing five weeks with a broken left thumb.
Uribe said he began feeling discomfort running a few days ago, but felt more pain after making a sprawling catch on Alex Rios’ pop fly to end the third inning Friday night. He remained in the game until the seventh inning and was replaced at second base by Juan Castro, who started there Saturday.
Manager Don Mattingly sounded exasperated at the thought of a 15th or 16th disabling injury, mostly because he’s running out of players. Uribe was playing second base instead of third Friday night because Aaron Miles is suffering from a strained left rib-cage muscle that could also send him to the DL.
“We’ve got to find out,” Mattingly said of the severity of Uribe’s injury. “We’ve got too many guys on the edge. I’m running out of bullets. Maybe we can get away
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