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Dodgers' Casey Blake doesn't know when he will return

The ailing third baseman, who has a pinched nerve in his neck, is on the disabled list for the third time this season. Blake has sat out 42 games this season.

July 15, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this season at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers… (Kirby Lee / US Presswire )

Reporting from Phoenix — Casey Blake said he has tried to push through the discomfort. He has rested completely. He has received different forms of treatment.

But the pain in his neck persists and Blake said he doesn't know when he will play again.

"I'm about as frustrated as I've been as a player," Blake said.

Blake said he used to see players who were constantly injured and think how he didn't want to be like them.

Now, he's one of them.

Blake is on the disabled list for the third time this season.

He was sidelined at the start of the season with back problems. An elbow infection forced him out of the lineup again in late April. His latest ailment, a pinched nerve in his neck, landed him on the disabled list again on July 3.

Blake has missed 42 games this season.

He will turn 38 next month and is in the final guaranteed year of his contract.

Blake said his deteriorating health hasn't made him any more open to the possibility of retirement.

"I fought my whole career, so it's not like I'm going to give up without a fight," he said.

He was nine days short of his 26th birthday when he made his major league debut and didn't become a full-time player until he was 30.

"I want to play as long as my body will allow me to," he said.

For now, the recovery process consists primarily of rest and some catch.

"Hopefully, something works," he said.

Davey making a difference

With Davey Lopes as their baserunning coach, the Dodgers had a stolen-base percentage of 80.7% through the All-Star break — the second-highest mark since the team moved to Los Angeles. Of the Dodgers teams since 1958, only the 1982 club had a higher stolen-base percentage (82.2).

The Dodgers' stolen-base percentage ranked third in baseball through Thursday, behind the Philadelphia Phillies (84.7) and Houston Astros (82.4).

Matt Kemp had a stolen-base percentage of 90% at the break (27 steals in 30 attempts). Kemp was successful in his last 19 tries heading into Friday.

Short hops

Manager Don Mattingly said he didn't feel it was necessary to address the team before their first game after the All-Star break. Referring to the players-only meeting last week, he said, "The guys already talked before the break." … The Dodgers have allowed only 23 first-inning runs, the fewest in baseball. The last time they gave up a first-inning run was June 29 in Minnesota.

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