Hanley Ramirez took ground balls for several minutes during batting practice today to test his right shoulder, saying afterward he still felt some discomfort when doing so, then didn’t offer much as to when he might return to the starting lineup.
“We keep winning,” he said, alluding to a lack of urgency to get him back in. “That makes it easy to make a decision. If I had to play tomorrow, I would get here early, get treatment and go for it. (But) there are three people making this decision: the trainer and the manager, and then they see how I feel every day.”
Ramirez expressed some concern that he might feel discomfort for the rest of the season, but he did say he is making progress and feeling better every day.
“They want me to be 100 percent,” he said. “They don’t want me to aggravate it or anything like that.”
Ramirez remains available to pinch hit, which he did on Friday night.
Now for Matt Kemp. He has been doing a little bit of running to test his sprained left ankle, and did a little more today in the outfield, shagging fly balls.
“Matty is going in the right direction,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He is getting close to playing (on a minor league rehabilitation assignment), but we still have to get him to full speed. I have seen him running downstairs and making turns, but that’s not really full speed.”
Meanwhile, Brian Wilson made his third rehab start earlier today, his second for Triple-A Albuquerque against Tacoma, and pitched ANOTHER perfect inning, meaning he has now retired all nine batters he faced. He got a popup, a groundout and a strikeout, throwing a total of 11 pitches (six of them on the strikeout). He will pitch again on Tuesday night against Salt Lake. I’m GUESSING he’ll also pitch on Wednesday against Salt Lake because Mattingly said they want to see him back-to-back plus three out of four days, but Donnie said he wasn’t sure about that.
Mattingly said he considers Zack Greinke to be among his stable of regular pinch hitters — EXCEPT on the day before he pitches and in some cases, the day after he pitches.
“By spiking him up, if we’re down a guy, it feels like we’re not down a guy because we can use him,” Mattingly said.
Also, when I posted the lineups earlier, I was a bit rushed because I was late for an interview, so I didn’t even notice that Rays manager Joe Maddon decided to go with the pitcher-batting-eighth thing tonight.
And by the way, the Diamondbacks just lost to the Mets again. Dodgers have an opportunity to further widen their lead.