Dodgers shortstop Jamey Carroll makes the catch and tag as Cincinnati's… (Al Behrman / Associated…)
Reporting from Cincinnati
What's next? The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding into left field?
Right when it appeared as if the Dodgers were starting to regain their health, they were hit with another wave of potentially devastating reports out of the trainer's room.
Starting pitcher Jon Garland is headed to the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. The only reason he wasn't officially moved there Friday was that his anticipated replacement on the active roster, reliever Vicente Padilla, had to remain sidelined because of neck pain.
But most significant might be the loss the Dodgers sustained two innings into their 2-1 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park: shortstop Rafael Furcal strained a muscle on his left side.
Manager Don Mattingly said he expects the lead-off hitter to be placed on the disabled list.
If Furcal and Garland are sidelined and if Padilla remains incapable of pitching, the Dodgers will have 10 players on the disabled list.
Mattingly said he was told by trainer Stan Conte that Furcal appears to have a strained oblique muscle.
"Usually, when you're talking oblique, you're talking a while," Mattingly said.
As in a month or more.
Mattingly said he expects for an infielder and a reliever to be called up from the minor leagues for the game Saturday.
Furcal missed 37 with a broken thumb earlier this season.
His impending trip to the disabled list was the result of a defensive play in the second inning. With the game still scoreless and men on first and second base, Reds outfielder Fred Lewis missed the ball on a bunt attempt. Jay Bruce wandered too far off second base, prompting catcher Dioner Navarro to fire the ball to Furcal, who threw out Bruce at third.
Furcal hurt himself on that throw, Mattingly said.
"You're like, 'Again?'" Rod Barajas said, recalling what he thought when Jamey Carroll had to hit for Furcal in the third inning.
Some help is on the way. Three of the players on the disabled list are on minor league rehabilitation assignments and are expected to return within a week: infielder Juan Uribe, outfielder Marcus Thames and reliever Blake Hawksworth.
Uribe is eligible to be activated on Sunday.
Garland pitched his way onto the disabled list in a loss to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.
"It kind of barked," Mattingly said of Garland's shoulder.
The shoulder was a reason for concern for many teams this winter, when Garland was a free agent. Garland said that some teams didn't pursue him because of the results of an MRI exam he underwent.
So, despite winning 14 games and posting a 3.47 earned-run average for the San Diego Padres last season, Garland settled for a one-year, incentive-laden contract with the Dodgers that pays him a base salary of $5 million. The deal includes a team option for 2012 that vests if Garland pitches 190 innings — a total he is unlikely to reach, considering he will be making his second trip to the disabled list.
Padilla, a part-time closer, was supposed to take Garland's place on the active roster Friday. Padilla had been out since May 14 with an irritated nerve in his forearm, which he had operated on in spring training.
But in pregame warmups, Padilla felt a pain in his neck that was similar to the pain that cost him the final month of last season. Padilla was diagnosed with a bulging disk last year.
"All that hard work for nothing," Padilla said. "I thought I was going to be ready."
Padilla is expected to throw again Saturday to test his neck and arm.