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DODGERS NOTES

Dodgers' doubleheader complicates choice of Sunday starter

Having to play two games against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday affects plans for finale of series against Cincinnati Reds.

September 19, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez

WASHINGTON — This weekend, the Dodgers will still be feeling the effects of the doubleheader they played at Nationals Park.

In particular, they will be scrambling to find a starting pitcher for their series finale in Cincinnati on Sunday.

Sidelined ace Clayton Kershaw still isn't scheduled to throw a bullpen session, which makes it highly unlikely he will be ready to take the mound by then.

The Dodgers could start John Ely, whose last start was on Aug. 28 for triple-A Albuquerque. Ely has been charged with six runs in two relief appearances for the Dodgers that have spanned 22/3 innings.

Manager Don Mattingly's other option would be to start Aaron Harang or Josh Beckett on short rest.

Harang and Beckett started the Dodgers' two games Wednesday. Harang was originally scheduled to pitch in the Tuesday night game that was rained out.

Close call for Kershaw

Kershaw survived a minor scare in the first game of the doubleheader, as he was hit on the side of the head by a fragment of Hanley Ramirez's shattered bat.

The incident occurred in the third inning, when Ramirez singled to right field. Kershaw was sitting in the Dodgers' dugout.

Kershaw, who is sidelined with a potentially season-ending hip injury, was said to be fine.

"I have ruled out the ear surgery," Mattingly said, smiling.

But Mattingly and the Dodgers still haven't publicly ruled out the possibility of a hip operation. Kershaw has forbidden the organization to reveal significant details about his injury.

Kershaw continued his throwing program Wednesday — that is, he played catch on flat ground. His partner was first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

Mattingly said Kershaw would have to throw a bullpen session before pitching in a game. Kershaw doesn't have a bullpen session scheduled.

The Dodgers won't allow Kershaw to throw off a mound if the pain in his hip persists.

Ellis rests

A.J. Ellis sat out the second game of the doubleheader, his usual spot behind home plate taken by backup catcher Matt Treanor.

Ellis was 0 for 3 in the first game, extending his hitless streak to seven games. He is 0 for his last 20.

Mattingly conceded this could be a result of Ellis' workload.

Ellis has started 117 games this season at catcher, fourth most in the major leagues. His 1,055 innings behind the plate also rank fourth.

That is far more than Ellis has ever caught. His previous high was 105 games in 2007 as a 27-year-old in double A.

Elbert has surgery

Left-hander Scott Elbert had season-ending arthroscopic surgery in Los Angeles. Team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache cleaned up scar tissue in the back of Elbert's elbow.

Elbert will rehabilitate at the Dodgers' spring training complex in Arizona. He is expected to start throwing in six to eight weeks.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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