Dodgers put Rod Barajas on DL
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers made two roster moves before Sunday's 1-0 win against the Houston Astros, placing catcher Rod Barajas on the 15-day disabled list with a right ankle sprain and recalling catcher A.J. Ellis from Triple-A Albuquerque and also activating left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo from the 15-day DL and optioning reliever Ramon Troncoso to the Isotopes.
Barajas had to leave Saturday night's game after injuring himself chasing a wild pitch by Mike MacDougal, but he may have initially done something to the ankle while being tagged out on a slide into the plate in the second inning.
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Although Dodgers medical services director Stan Conte originally told manager Don Mattingly that the injury was "significant," Barajas underwent X-rays that were negative, and the catcher isn't expected to miss much more than the two weeks he will spend on the DL. He is eligible to return on July 4, when the Dodgers begin a seven-game homestand to close out the season's first half.
Mattingly said he wasn't sure how he would split the playing time between Ellis and Dioner Navarro, but with Ellis having scrambled to get here from Albuquerque after playing the first six innings on Saturday night against Iowa, Navarro was in the starting lineup on Sunday.
Kuo has been on the DL since abruptly leaving the team on May 11 with a recurrence of the yips, something he appeared to have worked out during a minor league rehabilitation stint that was split between Albuquerque and advanced Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. Mattingly said he was hoping to ease Kuo back in, preferably by getting him into a fairly pressure-free inning on Sunday, before using him in his customary late-inning role.
"I asked him how he is feeling, and he said he was good and he said he was ready," Mattingly said. "He has that good look in his eye. This kid has been through a lot, so we have to trust him that he is ready."
This was Kuo's second DL stint this season and his fifth since he first came to the major leagues in 2005, and that doesn't even include the two Tommy John surgeries he underwent several years ago in the minor leagues.
Troncoso already was the fairly obvious choice to go to make room for Kuo, but he probably cinched his way back to Albuquerque when he gave up two runs on four hits over the final two innings of Saturday night's 7-0 loss to the Astros, leaving him with a 6.23 ERA in 12 big league appearances this season.
Ellis was hitting .307 at Albuquerque, with 12 doubles, 11 RBIs and a .482 on-base percentage. He hit .267 during an earlier, six-game stint in the majors this season.
Also, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach is expected to miss a few days after the death of his father on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.