There really was no need for words. The lineup card posted in the Dodger dugout said it all.
The Dodgers needed someone to fill in Saturday night for shortstop Greg Gagne (strained upper right hamstring). The easy choice would be to move Chad Fonville to shortstop and put rookie Todd Hollandsworth back in left field. Instead, Manager Tom Lasorda kept Fonville in left field and started rookie Juan Castro at shortstop, although Castro has not played the position since last season.
Lasorda has made it clear that Fonville is now his everyday left fielder. Hollandsworth and fellow rookie Roger Cedeno, who were platooning in left field, will be on the bench. And when outfielder Billy Ashley returns May 6 from the disabled list, Hollandsworth is expected to be sent to triple-A Albuquerque.
"How can I take him out of the lineup?" Lasorda said of Fonville. "I don't want to take him out. He's doing a good job."
The decision leaves Hollandsworth wondering when he'll have another opportunity to start. He had a pinch-hit double Saturday but is batting .225, with one more extra-base hit in 40 at-bats. "It's tough," Hollandsworth said, "but I just got to say ready. That's all I can do."
The Dodgers say they haven't given up on Hollandsworth, but acknowledge that he may need to play more frequently. That also is why they plan to keep Karim Garcia at Albuquerque this season.
Meanwhile, Gagne, who suffered the injury beating out an infield single in the ninth inning Friday, hopes to return to the lineup today or Monday.
The New York Yankees, who are looking for a second baseman, contacted Fred Claire, Dodger executive vice president, and asked about the availability of Dodger second baseman Delino DeShields. Yankee General Manager Bob Watson was told that the Dodgers weren't interested in trading DeShields.
First baseman Eric Karros, sidelined for his fifth consecutive game Saturday, took batting practice for the first time since suffering his strained left rib cage muscle. Karros, who sat out only two games the last two seasons, is hoping to return Monday. "I'm not doing the team any good or myself any good by playing hurt," he said. . . . Lasorda on the postponement of the Angels-White Sox game in Chicago because of chilly temperatures: "That was a heat wave compared to when we were there." The Dodgers and Cubs played four games at Wrigley earlier this month when the game-time temperature was never higher than 37 degrees.