Dodgers' Furcal to try rehab midweek

Updated: May 18, 2010, 1:33 AM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

SAN DIEGO -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal probably won't restart his minor league rehabilitation assignment before the middle of this week because his left hamstring still doesn't feel 100-percent right when he runs, trainer Stan Conte said before Sunday's game.

"There is no change from a couple of days ago," Conte said. "He is at 90 percent, and when he runs, he looks good. But if you try to push it that last little bit, he feels it. The biggest thing is that he doesn't feel 100-percent confident in it yet."

Conte had tentatively planned to have Furcal join the Dodgers' Triple-A Albuquerque affiliate for a game in its series at Salt Lake, which ends on Tuesday.

"But that doesn't seem possible right now," Conte said. "They go back to Albuquerque after that, and the weather forecast is good for both places, so that isn't a concern."

Furcal said his hamstring definitely doesn't feel any worse, but he admitted that he is getting a bit frustrated with the fact that it doesn't seem to be getting any better after he played two games of his rehab with high Class A Inland Empire last week. But the Dodgers can afford to be patient with him because they have played so well of late -- they entered Sunday having won six in a row -- and because Jamey Carroll, who has played all but two innings at shortstop in Furcal's absence, began the day hitting .328.

There still was no official word from the Dodgers late Monday night as to what they plan to do with injured right fielder Andre Ethier. But manager Joe Torre seemed to hint, as subtly as he possibly could, that Ethier and his broken right pinkie probably are headed for the disabled list.

Vicente Padilla threw 10 pitches off a mound for the first time since a nerve problem at the top of his right forearm landed him on the 15-day disabled list April 25. Conte said Padilla, who isn't expected to be activated until at least mid-June, won't start his minor league rehab anytime in the next week or 10 days.

Torre said he wasn't sure about the condition of outfielder Xavier Paul, who would be the most likely candidate for a big league callup if Ethier is placed on the 15-day DL. Paul, who is playing for Albuquerque, left Saturday night's game at Salt Lake after being hit by a thrown ball.

"I don't know what his status is," Torre said. "My guess is we would wait a couple of days on Ethier, so we should have a clearer idea when we figure out whether he is going to stay active or not."

The only other outfielder on the Dodgers' 40-man roster is Trayvon Robinson, who has never played above Double-A and entered Sunday hitting just .256 for Chattanooga. Torre hedged when asked about the possibility of bringing Robinson to the majors.

"I like this kid," Torre said. "I think is has a very high up side ... but he has a little work to do. I just saw him a little bit in spring training. He has great determination and a great approach, and he has some power. He will be an exciting player. But I would have to be told [he is ready] at some point from some other people."

Torre had planned to give catcher Russell Martin the day off for the first time since the second game of a doubleheader on April 27, but Martin, who came in riding a 10-game hitting streak, talked Torre out of it yet again. Torre used the excuse that he also was resting regulars Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake and Blake DeWitt on a day when Ethier already was lost because of his injury.

Torre said Ramon Ortiz will remain in the starting rotation at least long enough to start on Wednesday night against San Diego, the next time that spot comes up. Ortiz allowed three runs on six hits over four-plus innings on Friday night against the Padres in his first major league start in almost three years.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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