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No Mark Ellis means Dodgers will go the planned versatile route

April 27, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis (14) is congratulated by catcher A.J. Ellis (17) after scoring in the first inning Friday night against the Brewers.
Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis (14) is congratulated by catcher A.J.… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

Good thing Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti has such an affinity for versatile players. He likes to say the National League demands it, but it’s a philosophy that’s never been more difficult to argue with than now.

The Dodgers lost second baseman Mark Ellis to a strained quadriceps injury Friday night, and although the extent of the injury won’t be known until after he undergoes an MRI exam on Saturday, prospects are less than promising.

Thigh strains like that take more like weeks to recover from than days.

“If I had to guess, guys usually don’t come out of the game like that, and pull up like that ... and it’s really going to be a day or two,” said Manager Don Mattingly.

Ellis is 35 years old, so it’s not like the Dodgers can be shocked he’s come up injured. Still, watching him run out a grounder in the fifth inning, only to grab his leg and limp through the base, had to make a few hearts stop.

“That’s tough,” said first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. “He’s been playing so good for us. Top of the order, great defense. It’s definitely tough if he’s going to be out for awhile.”

Ellis has a six-game hitting streak going, is batting .342 in the second spot in the order and has been delivering his usual top-flight defense.

Ellis told Mattingly after the game he felt better than expected, so the Dodgers can only cross their fingers that he’s not headed for the disabled list. Odds are, however, he is headed there.

At least in the short term, Mattingly will turn to Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker to fill in at second. Both are classic Colletti utility players. Schumaker can also play the outfield, and Punto third and shortstop.

The Dodgers expect to get shortstop Hanley Ramirez back from the disabled list next week. His current replacement, Justin Sellers, can also play second.

“I like our guys. We’re pretty flexible over there,” Mattingly said.

 And being flexible is the order of the day.

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