With yet another crucial game against the Padres on Thursday, the Dodgers need to play their best baseball if they wish to close the seven game gap that separates them from first-place. Despite winning two in row, the Dodgers still have a lot of ground to make up. Entering Thursday, the Dodgers are in fourth place in the NL West, and find themselves in quite a hole. San Francisco, and Colorado have been playing well lately, and both are chasing San Diego.
Adding Ted Lilly was a great move for the pitching staff, however, the team’s overall depth and health remains in question. Rafael Furcal, who leads the team in batting average (.316), received an MRI on his back on Tuesday. And while it came back negative, the team does not expect to have Furcal back until Tuesday in Philadelphia. The season has been an improvement for Furcal, who hit .269/.335/.375 with 9 homers and 47 RBIs last season. Furcal is currently hitting .316/.380/.492 with 8 homers and 39 RBIs.
Also dealing with health issues is Russell Martin, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. Martin, who had been hitting just .248/.347/.332 with 5 homers and 26 RBIs, is out with a hip injury. The Dodgers have not seen a lot of production out of Martin this season, as they have in the past. Russell’s best season came back in 2007, when he belted 19 homers and drove in 87 runs. Since then, he’s failed to live up to that type of success.
Manny Ramirez, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list, is still at least a week away from playing in any minor-league rehab games. Ramirez had been mentioned in several trade rumors last week, but is still with LA. At 38, the slugger has said that playing as a DH would be ideal for his body, but right now he’s a Dodger. There’s always a chance, though, Ramirez could slip through waivers…
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