Schumaker pressed into inning of emergency relief
Second baseman escapes jam in his second career pitching outing
LOS ANGELES -- Skip Schumaker took the mound for the Dodgers in the ninth inning on Monday night against the Rockies, the second career pitching appearance for the second baseman.
With the Dodgers trailing, 12-2, manager Don Mattingly went to Schumaker instead of continuing to exhaust his bullpen. The Dodgers had already used four relievers after starter Ted Lilly allowed five runs in three innings.
"It's a tough situation because you're getting your butt kicked and you try not to have too good of a time out there because you're down by ," said Schumaker, who pitched some in college. "But you don't get too many chances for that. I remember growing up watching Orel [Hershiser] pitch, so I was on the same mound as Orel. That was pretty cool."
Carlos Gonzalez singled to lead off the inning, but Schumaker induced two flyouts before allowing another single and a walk. He got Jonathan Herrera to ground out to end the frame. Schumaker threw 25 pitches.
"You just try to not get anybody hurt and get through that inning as quick as you can," Schumaker said.
Schumaker is the first position player to pitch for the Dodgers since Mark Loretta on July 28, 2009, against St. Louis.
Schumaker last pitched on Aug. 23, 2011, when he was a member of the Cardinals. He faced the Dodgers in that outing and allowed a two-run homer to Aaron Miles but had two strikeouts.
Hanley returns as Kershaw goes on bereavement list
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers got Hanley Ramirez back on Monday.
Ramirez was activated from the disabled list before Monday's game against the Rockies, but was not in the starting lineup. The Dodgers placed left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the bereavement list in a corresponding roster move.
After two Minor League rehab games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga over the weekend, Ramirez said Monday he was ready to join the Dodgers.
He struck out as a pinch-hitter to end the seventh inning in the Dodgers' 12-2 loss.
"I just want to be in there," said Ramirez, who had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb March 22. "I don't want to wait any longer. I'm a gamer. I think that I can play."
Ramirez went 3-for-6 with a double and three RBIs in two rehab games and played 12 innings at shortstop. He took batting practice, played catch and fielded ground balls before Monday afternoon, convincing management that he was ready to contribute.
"Off the DL yayyyyy!!!" Ramirez tweeted.
Kershaw was not with the team Monday. The left-hander is dealing with a personal issue. He must remain on the bereavement list for at least three games and the club expects Kershaw to start on Friday against the Giants.
Mark Ellis is still nursing a strained right quad, and the second baseman was held out of the lineup for a third straight game Monday. He has not played since he suffered the injury in the fifth inning of Friday's 7-5 win against the Brewers.
Ellis played catch and took batting practice before Monday's game. The veteran did some light jogging but has not progressed to sprints. The Dodgers are still hoping Ellis can avoid a trip to the DL.
"He's better," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We're pretty much still in the same boat with Mark. He's pretty much able to do a lot. We're just making sure we don't reach a point where we cause any damage, do something that's going to set him out for a month."
But with Ramirez's return, the Dodgers have another infielder to help fill the void.
Dodgers encouraged as Greinke throws from 90 feet
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have been encouraged by Zack Greinke's recovery from a broken left collarbone, and the right-hander is already throwing less than three weeks removed from surgery.
Greinke threw from 90 feet before Monday's game against the Rockies. He had surgery on April 13 and had a metal plate inserted into his clavicle to stabilize the fracture. But that's not prevented him from beginning a throwing program.
"It's still a little achy here and there, but nothing worse than what you would expect, I think," Greinke said. "You try not to have setbacks but at the same time do what you can."
Greinke is likely to be sidelined until mid-June, but the Dodgers are still pleased with his progress.
"I was pretty excited when he walked through the weight room today," manager Don Mattingly said before Monday's game. "He's feeling better. We're getting closer. We'll see if he's sore tomorrow or feels good again."
Greinke suffered the injury during a benches-clearing incident against the Padres on April 11. After Greinke hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch, the outfielder charged the mound and chaos ensued.
Quentin returned from an eight-game suspension on April 23. He said he spoke with Greinke about the incident. Greinke declined comment on Monday.
Greinke also declined to comment on Padres president and CEO Tom Garfinkel, who recently said Greinke hit Quentin on purpose and made remarks connecting Greinke's social anxiety order to a movie character who suffered from autism. Garfinkel compared Greinke to "Rain Man," the autistic character Dustin Hoffman played in the movie. Garfinkel has since apologized for his remarks.
Capuano 'feeling great,' set for Triple-A rehab start
LOS ANGELES -- Chris Capuano threw a bullpen session and worked on his fielding to test his strained left calf on Monday at Dodger Stadium, and the left-hander is scheduled to make a Minor League rehab start on Wednesday.
Capuano had no issues bouncing off the mound to field bunts or sprinting to cover first in a workout before Monday's game against the Rockies. He's on track to start for Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday and then hopes to return to the Dodgers during a three-game series against the D-backs from May 6-8.
"I'm feeling great," Capuano said. "Every box has kind of been checked. Today was the last box. The calf feels good."
Capuano has been on the disabled list since April 17. He strained his calf running to cover first in the second inning of a start on April 16. The injury did not prevent Capuano from throwing, though, and he believes he will need just one rehab outing.
Day after arrest, Puig homers, hits walk-off single
LOS ANGELES -- One day after his arrest, Dodgers prospect Yasiel Puig led Double-A Chattanooga to victory in extra innings.
Puig hit a walk-off single in the 11th inning to lead Chattanooga past Jackson, 3-2. The organization's top prospect added a solo home run and is hitting .333 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 14 games with the Lookouts.
Puig was activated from the disabled list before the game after missing 10 days with a sprained left thumb. The outfielder had not played since April 18.
Puig was arrested by police in Chattanooga on Sunday morning and charged with speeding, reckless driving and driving without proof of insurance. He spent a short time in the Hamilton County jail before he was released. Puig has a hearing in Hamilton County court scheduled for May 14.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Sunday the organization would handle Puig's discipline internally.
Puig signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Dodgers last June. He hit .517 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 27 games during Spring Training, but the Dodgers assigned him to Chattanooga because management believed he needed seasoning in the subtle parts of the game and wanted him to play every day.
To Mattingly, NBA's Collins similar to Jackie
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sees similarities between Jackie Robinson and NBA center Jason Collins, the first active player in a major American sport to announce that he's gay.
Collins detailed his story in a piece for Sports Illustrated on Monday. Mattingly said he heard about the news and drew comparisons to Robinson, who integrated baseball in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"It seems a little bit like a Jackie Robinson type thing to me," Mattingly said before Monday's game against the Rockies. "He's crossing some barriers. I think it will be interesting to follow and see what happens."
Would an openly gay player be accepted in the Dodgers' clubhouse?
"I think it would be OK," Mattingly said. "I would think that a lot like Jackie, [Collins] would make it easier for anyone else that wants to step forward."
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.