PHOENIX -- It wasn't accompanied with the fanfare of Kenley Jansen's promotion to closer, but Josh Lindblom's ascension to the Dodgers' eighth-inning setup role could be considered a more impressive feat.Lindblom made the Opening Day roster because Ted Lilly was injured. He pitched so well in several roles that the Dodgers not only kept him when Lilly returned, but he's moved up the totem pole to the eighth inning. Former closer Javy Guerra and Ronald Belisario have been alternating in the seventh inning. "He's getting the ball in the eighth if he's fresh," manager Don Mattingly said of Lindblom. "I don't worry about lefty-righty anymore. Last year, he struggled against lefties. But he's using the changeup more and using the other side of the plate and having success with lefties. That process started last year." Lindblom has had almost identical success against batters on either side of the plate this year -- .212 vs. lefties, .200 vs. righties -- compared to a year ago, when lefties wore him out at .370 compared to .153 for righties. "Early on, my approach was to always be ready, it could be any man any time the phone rings," said Lindblom, who is 1-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 19 games. "When the season began, I was long and short to get out of jams. Now it's the eighth and it's nice to know when you're going to pitch, but the mental process is really the same." That said, Lindblom knows that the setup role is a sign he's done well, but he'll keep that in perspective. "Not any one role should be magnified," he said. "The last couple of games there were key outs in the fifth and sixth innings. That's what's so cool about our bullpen. Guys are stepping up and getting big outs."
Mattingly waiting to set Kemp's return date
PHOENIX -- Matt Kemp is running nearly full speed and doing almost all baseball activities, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wouldn't commit to the injured outfielder returning by May 29, the day he's eligible to be activated."We want him to play a couple rehab games; one at least, two would be better," said Mattingly. "Maybe the 29th, maybe the 28th. Sue [Falsone, trainer] will tell us if it's the 28th or 29th. It would be crazy to rush him by a day." Kemp has missed eight games with a strained left hamstring, and the Dodgers want to ensure that the injury will not resurface. Meanwhile Jerry Hairston, also recovering from a strained left hamstring, will play games on a rehab assignment for Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday and Thursday, likely rejoining the club on Friday night. Third baseman Juan Uribe's wrist has improved enough for him to resume baseball activities. Outfielder Juan Rivera's ruptured left hamstring is healing so well the club is hopeful he could be back within a month of the injury he sustained on May 8.
Ellis expected to miss at least six weeks
PHOENIX -- Injured Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis isn't out of the hospital yet, or out of the woods. He will be sidelined a minimum of six weeks, possibly longer.It will take six weeks before Ellis can return just from the two operations on his injured left leg to relieve pressure from swelling. Still unknown is the condition of Ellis' left knee and ankle in the wake of being upended by St. Louis baserunner Tyler Greene on Friday night. The club suspects one of the joints, if not both, is injured. Trainer Sue Falsone said Ellis winced when his leg was flexed, but his ankle and knee became secondary when the pressure increased in his leg at the point of contact near the upper left shin. After undergoing an emergency fasciotomy to relieve the pressure, a procedure that likely saved his leg, Ellis had a long incision sewn closed on Tuesday. Manager Don Mattingly said Ellis is expected to remain hospitalized until Thursday. Ellis will initially be on crutches.
Ethier nets RBI after scorer's ruling changed
PHOENIX -- Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier is so productive that he added to his stats even before Tuesday night's game against the D-backs.After an appeal by the club, Major League Baseball changed an official scorer's ruling and gave Ethier an RBI double on a ball that flicked off the glove of San Diego center fielder Cameron Maybin, who was originally charged with an error, in the Dodgers' 8-1 win over the Padres on Thursday. Bobby Abreu, who had doubled, scored on the play. As a result of the change, Ethier entered Tuesday with a league-leading 39 RBIs, 13 doubles, 92 total bases (second in the league), 23 extra-base hits (tied for second) and a .321 average. In another scoring change, Justin Sellers was credited with an infield single in the sixth inning on Monday night on a ball originally scored as an error on Arizona third baseman Josh Bell.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.