Apr 29

Blake heads to DL, Loney sits, but Uribe back in lineup


Casey Blake has officially shuffled to the disabled list, with the Dodgers calling up Russ Mitchell to take his spot on the active roster. On the relatively bright side, Juan Uribe and Marcus Thames are healthy enough to make their first starts in some time, while James Loney rests against Padres lefty Clayton Richard in favor of Jerry Sands at first base.

Not resting against the lefty is Andre Ethier, who will try to extend his hitting streak to 25 games. Ethier is 6 for 29 with one walk against lefties this season. Lefty batters hit .228 against Richard last season and are 7 for 24 (.291) this season.

Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has a nice feature on Ethier’s march, while Keith Hawkins of ESPN Stats and Information shows that only once during the streak has there been suspense in the ninth inning. That was when Ethier doubled ahead of Matt Kemp’s walkoff homer to beat St. Louis.

* * *

Frank McCourt is doing another round of interviews today, this time in Los Angeles, so expect to see lots of coverage soon. In the meantime, I have to comment on this quote from nascent Dodger vice chairman Steve Soboroff in Bill Shaikin’s story in the Times earlier today.

“I guarantee you there is no owner or prospective owner in Los Angeles that has a better handle on the community than we do,” Soboroff told Shaikin.

Actually, I don’t have to comment. The words speak for themselves, don’t they?

* * *

For all the chaos surrounding the Dodgers, I’m going to argue that the Atlanta Braves have had a worse week — thanks to a couple of ex-Dodgers.

The Atlanta Braves placed pitching coach Roger McDowell on administrative leave Friday while they investigate allegations he made homophobic comments and crude gestures toward fans before a game in San Francisco last weekend.

The former major league reliever apologized in a statement, but the team barred him from the bench heading into a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

General manager Frank Wren said he hopes to have the investigation wrapped up by end of the weekend and added that any punishment would be coordinated with Major League Baseball.

The de facto suspension of McDowell came hours after the team announced it was looking into the arrest Thursday night of starting pitcher Derek Lowe on drunken-driving charges …

* * *

Fangraphs passes along a great Times photo from the Dodgers’ 1978 National League pennant celebration. Note, amid the jubilation, one fan trying to literally steal second, while another appears to fight with Bob Welch for the rosin bag.

Apr 25

Dodgers activate Navarro, option Ellis

When Dioner Navarro went on the disabled list near the end of Spring Training, A.J. Ellis did all you expect A.J. Ellis to do: 19 plate appearances, four singles, four walks (.421 on-base percentage), no extra-base hits.

For that, the Dodgers put Ellis on the Wolverine up to Annandale today, while Navarro comes off the disabled list to start earning that million bucks. He’ll back up starting catcher Rod Barajas.

Meanwhile, Juan Uribe is still nursing his sore quad, and Casey Blake is getting a day off after playing seven days in a row (10 for 27, two homers, six walks, 10 runs), so today’s Dodger lineup features both Aaron Miles and Ivan De Jesus Jr.

As Steve Dilbeck of the Times notes, the Dodgers’ offensive resurgence of the past week coincided with facing, for the most part, less-than-elite pitchers. Florida poses a tougher challenge this week, although the Dodgers will miss Josh Johnson (1.06 ERA, 22 baserunners, 33 strikeouts in 34 innings).

Florida is one of only four teams in the National League that are more than a game over .500. The Dodgers are one of seven teams within a game of .500.

For your pregame enjoyment: Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven passes along this look at Jackie Robinson’s 1938 Muir High School yearbook.

Apr 23

Dodgers out-rallied in 10-8 loss to Cubs


Nam Y. Huh/APMatt Kemp was ivy bait in the early going, before the seeds were planted for a Dodger comeback.

This looked like one of those balance-the-scales games – everything that went right for the Dodgers on Friday would go wrong today.

Then it looked like a testament to the Dodgers’ resiliency over a tumultuous week.

In the end, it turned out to be one of those “Who knows, anything goes” contests we’ve seen time and again from the blue boys. The Dodgers stormed back from a 5-1 deficit to an 8-5 lead today in Chicago, before previously unscored-upon reliever Matt Guerrier allowed five smackers in the bottom of the eighth for a 10-8 Dodger loss.

Despite starting pitcher Ted Lilly allowing 11 hits to 23 batters, despite Jerry Sands losing a fly ball in the sun, despite two outfield misplays by Matt Kemp, despite the Dodgers picking off two runners in the fourth inning and throwing out neither, Los Angeles looked like it would roll to a four-game winning streak after rallying for seven unanswered runs from the fifth inning to the seventh.

Homers by Casey Blake (2 for 3, two walks, .962 OPS this season) and Kemp off Chicago’s Ryan Dempster accounted for three runs in the top of the fifth inning, cutting the Cubs’ lead to one. Then came a noteworthy decision by Cubs manager Mike Quade.

Lilly exited after allowing a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth, and Mike MacDougal walked two of the next three batters to load the bases. That brought up Dempster, who was coming off his rough top of the fifth and was already in the neighborhood of 90 pitches. Quade let Dempster bat, and though he nearly got away with it when MacDougal’s wildness sent the count to 2-0 and 3-2, Dempster struck out swinging.

Dempster’s next batter, Rod Barajas, homered to tie the game to start the sixth.

Perhaps the most dramatic moment came later in the inning. After Tony Gwynn Jr.’s pinch-triple and Casey Blake’s two-out walk, Quade finally pulled Dempster in favor of lefty reliever Sean Marshall. Marshall faced Andre Ethier, who was 5 for 23 against left-handers this season. With his 19-game hitting streak was on the line. On a 1-2 pitch, Ethier lined a double to right field, scoring both runners and giving the Dodgers the lead.

Sands later helped manufacture the Dodgers’ eighth run when he singled, stole second, went to third on a throwing error and scored on a Barajas groundout even though the infield was in.

Jemaine Clement
-lookalike Vicente Padilla protected the lead in his season debut, retiring all three batters he faced in the sixth, and Guerrier sailed through the bottom of the seventh. But the Cubs pummeled Guerrier in the eighth.

Starlin Castro, the 21-year-old who went 4 for 5 to raise his season OPS to .947, drove in two, and then an RBI forceout by Darwin Barney tied the game. A bloop single by Aramis Ramirez extended the inning and knocked Guerrier out. Blake Hawkworth relieved, and gave up a two-run double to Baker to complete the eighth-inning disaster.

James Loney tried to tie the game in the ninth with a fly ball after Sands walked, but like his 2011 season, it fell far short. Carlos Marmol struck out Barajas, and the game was over.

Loney went 0 for 5, his on-base percentage falling to .191 and his slugging percentage to .212.

The Cubs continued their unprecedented run of early season .500 baseball. They have been 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9 and now 10-10 this year. The Dodgers, meanwhile, fell to 11-11.

* * *

In case you weren’t sure, Hector Gimenez’s knee injury is legit. Gimenez, who was placed on the disabled list April 10 to (conveniently, it seemed) make room for the callup of John Ely, will have arthroscopic surgery next week. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details in a story that also heralds a minor-league rehab assignment for Hong-Chih Kuo and tells us about leg-soreness for Juan Uribe.

* * *

Here’s Jackson’s update from Don Mattingly on the controversial A.J. Ellis steal attempt from Friday:

… Mattingly, in his first year as Dodgers manager, confirmed it was a mix-up but defended a running play in that situation.

“Long story short, we missed the sign,” Mattingly said. “We weren’t trying to run there. Definitely weren’t going to run A.J. We weren’t doing it but it is Wrigley and the other day we did give up eight runs in the ninth. We’re trying to win a game, but we weren’t running there.” …

With what happened today, I suggested Quade issue a retroactive approval of the steal attempt.

Apr 16

Hong-Chih Kuo heads to the disabled list

A lower-back strain has knocked Hong-Chih Kuo off the abled list. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details, including the “oh, of course” news that Kuo has been “bothered by back discomfort all season.”

Ramon Troncoso has been recalled to join the Dodgers’ now all-righty bullpen.

Apr 11

Broken thumb will send Rafael Furcal to disabled list


Jed Jacobsohn/Getty ImagesRafael Furcal hurt his thumb on this fifth-inning slide.

As noted below and reported by Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com, Rafael Furcal hurt his thumb tonight sliding hand-first into third base. Following the game, it was revealed that the thumb is broken, and that Furcal will be out a minimum of four weeks and as many as six.

Dylan Hernandez of the Times said that Furcal was despondent enough to be “pondering retirement,” though we’ll assume for the time being that the depression was talking then. Here’s what Jackson wrote:

Furcal actually hinted at retirement, but that seemed to be nothing more than an emotional reaction to having received the bad news.

“I’m thinking about retiring if I can’t get back to being healthy,” said Furcal, who has a history of back injuries and missed a month each last season with injuries to his lower back and right thigh. “I was feeling so good with my back, and now I break my finger.”

With Furcal out for a lengthy period, Jamey Carroll would see the most time at shortstop, though the Dodgers have to be careful with the 37-year-old. With Casey Blake also ailing, that also means more playing time for Aaron Miles. An infielder will no doubt be called up if Furcal goes on the disabled list, but I’d guess Ivan De Jesus Jr. (who is on the 40-man roster). As alternatives, Justin Sellers or Juan Castro would get the call before the still-green Dee Gordon would. (Tonight, as Jerry Sands homered for the third-straight game and Jay Gibbons had three hits and a game-winning RBI, Gordon stole his fourth base of the season but also made his fourth error and struck out four times.)

Apr 11

Kershaw LXXXVI: Kershawlandaise sauce

I have several different thoughts percolating about the fan and security issues surrounding tonight’s Dodgers-Giants game, as well as today’s Dodger Stadium fundraiser for Bryan Stow. I know it’s my job to get them from percolation to full boil, but I didn’t quite get there. For now, let’s just keep it simple: I am thinking good thoughts for tonight.

In baseball news: Rafael Furcal is back in the lineup after a couple of days off because of wrist issues. But after resting Sunday, Casey Blake is also sitting out tonight’s game against San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com said that Blake’s left leg has been bothering him since Saturday’s game-ending collision with the Padres’ Chase Headley.

Additionally, the Dodgers have sent John Ely back to Albuquerque, paving the way for Jon Garland’s activation before Friday’s game. In the meantime, Jamie Hoffmann gets a callup. Here’s Jackson’s story.

Apr 10

The Wheel of Timely Injury lands on Hector Gimenez

The Dodgers placed Hector Gimenez on the disabled list to make room on the roster for John Ely.

“It wasn’t immediately known whether the pain in Gimenez’s knee was of such severity that he would have been placed on the DL if the club didn’t need a roster spot,” wrote Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “But the Dodgers have been carrying three catchers all season partly because Gimenez is out of minor league options, a situation that could come to a head when backup catcher Dioner Navarro comes off the 15-day disabled list sometime in the next few weeks.”

If you were hoping Ramon Ortiz would take today’s start, no such luck. The Cubs signed him to a minor-league contract.

Apr 01

HBP knocks Uribe out of lineup


Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesRod Barajas throws out Miguel Tejada at first during the ninth inning Thursday.

We have our first regular season Dodger injury of the year. Juan Uribe, who was hit by a Tim Lincecum pitch when the Dodgers exploded for an unearned run in the sixth inning Thursday, was scratched from today’s starting lineup.

Ivan De Jesus Jr., already scheduled for his major-league debut tonight, will now be joined in the starting lineup by Aaron Miles, making his Dodger debut. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has more details.

… Stan Conte, the Dodgers’ director of medical services, stressed that the X-rays were strictly precautionary and that the pitch that hit Uribe struck muscle as opposed to bone. There was some hope Uribe would be available to pinch hit after returning from White Memorial Hospital, where the X-rays were taken.

“I’m going to go get it looked at now,” Uribe said as he changed back into his regular clothes before leaving Dodger Stadium.

Although the Dodgers already have five players on the 15-day disabled list, no one seemed especially concerned that Uribe could join them.

“I had him in the lineup, but he came in swollen,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Stan was actually really surprised. Hopefully, it’s just today.” …

* * *

Former Dodger minor-leaguer Carlos Santana singled twice and homered for Cleveland, which rallied from a 14-0 Opening Day deficit to a 15-10 loss to the White Sox.

Mar 29

The Jay Gibbons saga is just depressing

Whatever your 2011 expectations for Jay Gibbons were, you’ve got to feel for the man. From Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

Gibbons is expected to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list because of lingering problems with the vision in his left eye, an issue Gibbons thought he had resolved when he returned two weeks ago from a visit to a San Francisco doctor who gave him a better-fitting contact lens.

Gibbons said upon his return from that trip that his vision in his everyday life was dramatically better. But he said Monday that wasn’t the case in the batter’s box, because he couldn’t pick up the spin on breaking balls.

“My vision was great coming back, but I had no depth perception,” Gibbons said before Monday night’s Cactus League game, a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels before 19,415 at Dodger Stadium. “I went up there in spring training with very little chance. Those pitchers are pretty good. Once they figure out you can’t see, they cut you up pretty quickly.”

Gibbons, who lives in the Los Angeles area, plans to see another doctor here on Tuesday — “about the fifth different guy I’ve gone to,” he said — in hopes of trying yet another contact lens. His original problem was that the lens kept popping out, the result of some flattening of his cornea that is a normal result of the PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery he underwent last fall as a follow-up to the lasik procedure he had in 2004.

He came back from San Francisco with a lens that had a lower base curve so it clung more securely to his eye. But he now says his vision at the plate was less clear than it had been before. …

OK, it’s not a total tragedy: Gibbons’ $650,000 salary for 2011 became guaranteed Monday. And when a door closes for one guy, it opens for someone else. But you’d still like to see a player go down swinging, instead of not seeing.

* * *

Almost-a-Dodger Eric Chavez will be on the Yankees’ Opening Day roster (with Russell Martin and Andruw Jones), but once-a-Dodger Ronnie Belliard will not, reports Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com:

It was hardly surprising — Chavez had a terrific spring, outhitting everyone on the team for average, even the red-hot Alex Rodriguez, and showed he could still play an excellent third base and a serviceable first base — but certainly inspiring for a player hampered by multiple back and shoulder injuries over the past five seasons, and potentially a steal for the Yankees, who waited as long as possible to be sure Chavez would make it through camp in one piece.

“That one’s pretty evident with the spring that he had,” manager Joe Girardi said in announcing Chavez had made the team. “We feel that he’s healthy and we feel that it’s a good bat on a day that we rest Alex or Tex [Mark Teixeira]. I’m really pleased with what he did. …

They also released Ronnie Belliard, which came as no surprise to anyone, since he came in overweight, almost immediately strained a calf muscle which cost him nearly two weeks, and batted .136 after his return to action. …

* * *

Up in Oakland, Andy LaRoche is still waiting to hear if he grabbed a spot with the A’s. LaRoche had a .987 OPS and team-high four homers this spring, playing four infield positions. In Arizona, Tony Abreu has reportedly been placed on waivers. Pittsburgh’s James McDonald, who has thrown only 6 2/3 innings this spring, might miss the start of the season with a left side injury.

Mar 25

Ivan DeJesus Jr. likely to start at second base while Blake is out

Rob Tringali/Getty ImagesIvan De Jesus Jr. has a .380 on-base percentage this spring.

“Barring an injury,” writes Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com, “infielder Ivan DeJesus looks like a strong bet to make the club and remain in the big leagues until Blake returns from back injury. DeJesus, who will be making his major league debut, likely will get the bulk of the starts at second base during that time, while Juan Uribe will move to third.”

It’s a pretty impressive feat for the infielder, who has remaining options, who had to come back from a 2009 broken leg and was even said by some to be in the Dodgers’ doghouse last year.

Jackson also writes that the Dodgers will carry four starting pitchers on their Opening Day roster, and will call up a fifth starter from the minors April 12. That pitcher figures to be John Ely, especially if Tim Redding’s back ailment today proves to be serious. Jackson:

… Redding returned to Camelback Ranch, the team’s spring-training complex in Glendale, for further examination. No diagnosis or prognosis was immediately available. …

The season opener for Triple-A Albuquerque isn’t until April 7, so whomever the Dodgers choose to start in place of Garland could start that game and then be perfectly lined up to pitch for the Dodgers on April 12 in San Francisco. …

* * *

Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 3

Highlights:

  • Coming in to relieve the injured Redding with one on and none out in the fourth, Rubby De La Rosa got a double-play grounder and only allowed a bunt single in his first three innings.
  • Backup catchers A.J. Ellis and Hector Gimenez each went 1 for 2.
  • Xavier Paul thew out a runner at the plate.
  • Doubles by Aaron Miles and Justin Sellers’ sandwiched Ellis’ single and gave the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead.

Lowlights:

  • Redding allowed a two-run homer in the third and six hits total in his three-plus innings, before leaving with the back trouble.
  • De La Rosa allowed three runs in his fourth inning of work.
  • Tony Gwynn Jr. went 0 for 4, his spring OPS falling to .689.

Sidelights:

  • Christina Taylor Green’s brother Dallas and Tucson shooting victim Ken Dorushka threw out first pitches before today’s game.
  • Nick Charles, who has terminal cancer, will call the opening bout on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” on Saturday, says Sports Business Daily.
  • Rafael Furcal has been recovering from an offseason illness, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Times in this feature.
  • Great pics of Fernando Valenzuela pitching in Mexico last week, shared by Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy.
  • Another great item, this from Eric Nusbaum at Pitchers & Poets, gives us Ken Levine talking about Vin Scully: “Normally I can look over somebody’s shoulders, I can pick up their scorecard and I can kind of figure it out. With one exception – Vin Scully. He’s got lines and dots and stuff. I have no idea. You need Navajo code breakers to figure out Vin’s scorebook. I have no idea.”
  • Here’s part 3 of Mark Timmons’ LADodgerTalk.com interview with Logan White.
  • The Dodgers aren’t the only ones with injuries, by any means. The shoulder of Phillies closer Brad Lidge is hurting, and so is Philadelphia’s bullpen, writes David Schoenfield of ESPN.com.
  • Padres starting pitcher Mat Latos is also ailing, notes Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk.
  • Will Leitch on the Mets (via Rob Neyer): “Even if this year is a write-off, the team will be more enjoyable to watch than it has been the last four years, if only because the franchise is finally moving forward. It’s going to get better, soon. I promise, this isn’t a scam. You are forgiven for fearing otherwise. This is, after all, the Mets.”

* * *

Dodgers at Mariners, 7:05 p.m.

Mar 25

Navarro likely to be out until May

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

Mar 24

Dioner Navarro to play ‘MRI of Fortune’

From Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

Dodgers catcher Dioner Navarro was scratched from the starting lineup for Thursday’s Cactus League game against the Colorado Rockies and sent for an MRI exam after feeling pain in his right side taking a swing during a morning session of batting practice.

Results of the MRI aren’t expected until later in the day or possibly Friday. But with the season opener now just a week away, Navarro’s injury at least raises the possibility that he could become the fourth Dodgers player expected to begin the season on the disabled list, where he would join pitchers Vicente Padilla and Jon Garland and third baseman Casey Blake. …

* * *

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.

Mar 21

Infield in flux

The Dodgers’ afternoon game today has been rained out.

Having been unable to get into a game for quite some time now, Casey Blake appears bound for the disabled list, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Blake has one hit and two walks this spring. He would likely be replaced at third base by Juan Uribe, with Jamey Carroll coming in to start at second base, but Carroll himself only has four singles and four walks in his own injury-marred spring.

Aaron Miles, Opening Day second baseman?

* * *

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 p.m.

Mar 10

Garland injury confirmed, DL all but certain

An MRI confirmed that Jon Garland has a strained left oblique muscle, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com, all but confirming that he will start the season on the disabled list.

Wednesday, Jackson was among those who noted that the Dodgers “really don’t have to use a fifth starter until their 11th game of the season, April 12 at San Francisco, the first time they are scheduled to play a game on a fifth consecutive day.”

Going with only four starters in early April could allow someone like Xavier Paul to extend his Dodger stay past Spring Training.

  • Other late items from Jackson: The weird, thank-goodness-it-didn’t-happen-to-Matt Kemp explanation of why Andre Ethier didn’t end up starting Wednesday’s game, and a note that John Lindsey has reinjured his calf.
  • More at MLB.com from Ken Gurnick: Rubby De La Rosa is recovering from minor shoulder inflammation, and this update on Josh Lindblom …

    … Two springs ago, he came out of nowhere to nearly make the Opening Day roster after only 34 professional innings, but it’s been a roller coaster ever since. He’s been bounced between starting and relieving and passed by the likes of Rubby De La Rosa on the prospect depth chart. He had a 6.54 ERA at Triple-A Albuquerque last year. …

    Lindblom, a closer at Purdue and second-round Draft pick in 2008, said he’s determined to get back on track now that management has told him he’s exclusively a reliever again.“I got to the point where I lost who I was as a pitcher,” said the 23-year-old. “Instructional league helped me get back my delivery. It was tough going back and forth [between starting and relieving], but what happened I have to take ownership of. Most important, I let myself down. Now I’m settling into a role.” …

  • Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke’s basketball injury reminded Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy of the time Matt Kemp went all out at a charity hoops game at Westchester High.
  • Duke Snider, Jimmy Wynn and Willie Davis rank sixth, eighth and 11th all-time among MLB center fielders using a statistical measure called Weighted Wins Above Replacement (wWAR), according to Beyond the Box Score.

* * *

Padres at Dodgers, 12:05 p.m. (Prime Ticket)

Mar 09

Jon Garland leaves start with injury

Here’s Tony Jackson’s initial report for ESPNLosAngeles.com:

Jon Garland left Wednesday’s Cactus League game with two outs in the top of the second inning because of a left-oblique injury. There was no immediate diagnosis or prognosis, but Garland said he would meet with a team doctor either later in the day or early Thursday morning.

Garland said no actual tests have been scheduled, but that, “I’m sure they are going to want to do that.”

Garland, whom the Dodgers signed in November to a one-year, $5 million contract with an $8 million club option for 2012 to be their fifth starter, was making just his second start of the spring. After throwing the first pitch to Seattle Mariners shortstop Josh Wilson, his 30th pitch of the game, Garland knelt down on the front of the mound, stood back up and immediately made a gesture toward the dugout to summon trainer Stan Conte.

Garland then walked around the mound for a minute or two while clutching his left side before ultimately walking off the field with Conte. …

Bill Shaikin of the Times wrote that “although the Dodgers have not identified the problems, his actions were consistent with an oblique injury, which can require a month or more of recovery.”

With Vicente Padilla out, the leading candidates to replace Garland if he’s out of the rotation for the start of the season would be Tim Redding and John Ely.