Casey Blake may start rehab Friday
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake, who has been on the 15-day disabled list for the past two weeks with a staph infection that ultimately required surgery to clean out, is hoping to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment as early as Friday, manager Don Mattingly said before Sunday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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"We would be happy if he were able to go play games while we are on the road,'' Mattingly said, with the Dodgers scheduled to begin a six-game trip on Friday night. "He took batting practice on the field [Saturday] and ground balls. He is a little sore today, just from a couple of days of full workouts. He will take BP on the field for a couple more days, and then we will see if we can get him started.''
If Blake needs only a short rehab, he theoretically could be on track to return to the active roster around the same time as shortstop Rafael Furcal, who began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday night at Tucson. Furcal went 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs in his first game with the Isotopes, although the switch hitter is still feeling enough discomfort in his right thumb that he is hitting only left-handed in games, Isotopes manager Lorenzo Bundy confirmed via text message.
Furcal has been taking right-handed batting practice.
He would probably continue to hit only left-handed on Sunday night with a right-hander, Padres prospect Matt Buschmann, scheduled to make his Triple-A debut. But Bundy also said his club is scheduled to face a lefty on Monday night, and Mattingly said there is some hope that Furcal will feel comfortable enough to try hitting right-handed by then.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.