Andre Ethier, Rod Barajas held out

Updated: May 24, 2011, 12:51 AM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

HOUSTON -- Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier and catcher Rod Barajas were both out of the lineup for Monday night's 4-3 loss against the Houston Astros after getting banged up on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox.

However, neither injury appeared to be long term, and manager Don Mattingly said he was comfortable for now without a roster move at either position.

Ethier said he woke up without soreness one day after injuring his left big toe, left elbow and lower back when he banged into the right field wall chasing a ball.

"I'm going to go out and see how I feel [during batting practice] and go from there,'' he said. "I don't know if it was a good sign or a bad sign, but I really wasn't all that sore when I woke up this morning.''

Mattingly said he wouldn't hesitate to use the left-handed-hitting Ethier as a pinch hitter, but with the Dodgers scheduled to face Astros lefty J.A. Happ on Tuesday night, Mattingly said that might be a good excuse to rest Ethier for one more day.

Mattinglyl eventually used Ethier on Monday, putting him in the game as a pinch-hitter for starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Barajas, who suffered a sprained right wrist on a play at the plate, was sent for an MRI exam on Monday morning. Just as the X-rays he underwent on Sunday, the MRI showed no fracture and nothing seriously wrong.

"It's still sore, but it hasn't gotten any worse,'' Barajas said. "I think I could [play], but I love to play. I feel like I could tough it out even if I'm not 100 percent.''

But Mattingly opted to go with backup Dioner Navarro, who is hitting .115, for at least one game to give Barajas time to recover. Although Barajas is listed as day to day, the lack of depth at his position means the Dodgers can't afford to wait too many days for him to be ready, so they likely will place Barajas on the 15-day disabled list and recall catcher A.J. Ellis if Barajas can't come back in another couple of days.

At this point, though, that seems unlikely.

"At this point, we have a couple of guys we can put back there [to catch],'' Mattingly said, adding that infielder Russell Mitchell is his primary emergency catcher for now. "But obviously, you don't anticipate Navarro getting hurt.''

Meanwhile, third baseman Casey Blake (left elbow) and reliever Blake Hawksworth (right groin) were set to begin their minor league rehabilitation assignments on Monday night at Triple-A Albuquerque and advanced Class A Rancho Cucamonga, respectively. Outfielder Marcus Thames (right quad) is tentatively slated to report to Albuquerque on Friday, and Mattingly said he likely will need a longer rehab than Blake, whom team officials hope to activate in about a week.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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