Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez might return from a shoulder injury this… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
Hanley Ramirez could appear as a pinch-hitter as soon as this weekend, but Brian Wilson is likely to be activated by the Dodgers before Matt Kemp.
Ramirez, who jammed his shoulder last Sunday, took batting practice at Dodger Stadium on Friday. He said "maybe" to the possibility of starting Saturday.
"Hanley is pretty optimistic, but he hasn't thrown yet," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said.
However, Mattingly said the Dodgers no longer are worried that Ramirez might require a stint on the disabled list. In the initial days after the injury, Mattingly conceded Friday, he was concerned that the DL would be inevitable and was simply hoping for the minimum 15 days.
"I'd have been happy with that," Mattingly said.
Wilson, the former San Francisco Giants closer, pitched one scoreless inning for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday and is set to pitch for triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. Mattingly said he expects Wilson to spend about a week with Albuquerque before joining the Dodgers.
The Dodgers figure to want Wilson pitch on back-to-back days and enter games in the middle of an inning before calling him up.
"Kenley [Jansen] is our guy," Mattingly said. "Everybody else is there to get the ball to Kenley."
Kemp, on the disabled list since July 22 because of a sprained ankle, started a running program Friday. Mattingly estimated Kemp would return in 10 to 14 days.
"I have no time limit," Kemp said. "I don't know when I am going to be ready. The sooner the better. It's an ankle injury. Ankles are tricky."
[Updated, 9:54 p.m.: Ramirez pinch hitted in the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.]