Dioner Navarro will be on the Dodger disabled list when the 2011 regular season begins and likely remain out until the end of April because of a right oblique tear. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.
… Mattingly said A.J. Ellis and Hector Gimenez will compete during the handful of days left before Opening Day for the right to hold down the backup catching job until Navarro returns. But Mattingly also hinted that Barajas might draw almost all of the starts while Navarro is out. Although Barajas is 35 and Mattingly had planned to give him regular rest, that rest presumably isn’t as important in April.
“We’re looking at Rod as the primary guy,” Mattingly said. ” I know I have to keep him strong, and I know he is an older guy. But I love his leadership. Earlier in the season, it isn’t as big a deal. As you get more into summer, he will have more games under his belt and you’re getting into some heat, so really, you’re trying to keep him from breaking down.”
It seems more than safe to bet that Gimenez will now make the Opening Day roster, which is shaping up thusly:
Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda
Relief pitchers (7): Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen, Blake Hawksworth, Mike MacDougal, Scott Elbert or Ron Mahay
Starting lineup (8): Rod Barajas, James Loney, Jamey Carroll or Ivan De Jesus Jr., Rafael Furcal, Juan Uribe, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Jay Gibbons or Xavier Paul
Bench (4): Hector Gimenez, Marcus Thames, Tony Gwynn Jr., Aaron Miles
Fighting for two spots: John Ely, Tim Redding, Ramon Troncoso, Lance Cormier, Travis Schlichting, Juan Castro, Ivan DeJesus Jr., Jay Gibbons/Xavier Paul, Trent Oeltjen, A.J. Ellis