Jerry Hairston Jr. told manager Don Mattingly his left hip had been bothering… (Sarah Glenn / Getty Images )
You might think it’s just some kind of nefarious plot to figure out a way to get Juan Uribe another chance, or you might think it’s just that Jerry Hairston Jr. is 36 years old and these things happen.
Things start to ache, hurt, break down. Being a bulletproof 25 seems a lot closer when you’re 36 than 56, but it’s all going in one direction.
Hairston told Don Mattingly his left hip had been bothering him for three months, and it just got worse. Monday it was bad enough that the Dodgers placed Hairston on the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed left hip.
Apparently, as players too often do with injuries, he just sort of failed to mention it. All while Hairston had become the de facto starting third baseman since Hanley Ramirez was moved from third to short Aug. 3.
Hairston was signed to be the Dodgers' new super utility player, but much like the man he replaced – Jamey Carroll – was playing a lot more than either he or the Dodgers had envisioned. Which could not have helped a sore hip.
Hairston was batting .273 with a .342 on-base percentage in 238 at-bats, eighth on the team. He has played third, second, left and a touch at shortstop.
Needing another versatile player to replace him, the Dodgers called back up Elian Herrera.
Since being optioned back to triple-A Albuquerque, Herrera had batted .299 with eight doubles, three triples and one home run and 19 RBI in 24 games.
Herrera had toiled in the minors for 10 years before the Dodgers called him up May 14, and the 27-year-old got off to a wonderful start, hitting .305 in his first 105 at-bats. Then he seemed to fade, or pitchers figured him out. He hit just .141 in his last 64 at-bats before heading back to Albuquerque.
Now he becomes another option a third, along with the beleaguered Uribe (.192), Adam Kennedy (.255) and Luis Cruz (.248). Combined, they almost make a decent third baseman. The left-handed Kennedy got Tuesday’s start against Pirates right-hander Jeff Karstens.
Hairston, meanwhile, headed back to Los Angeles for tests and treatment.
Yasiel Puig slays rookie ball, earns promotion to Rancho Cucamonga
Can Clayton Kershaw repeat as NL Cy Young Award winner?
Chris Capuano loses no-hitter in 7th, but Dodgers down Miami