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Monday, May 27, 2013
Dee Gordon goes back to Triple-A

By Mark Saxon

The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t ready to give up on Luis Cruz, and that meant they had to break some bad news to Dee Gordon.

They activated veteran utility guy Jerry Hairston Jr. from the 15-day disabled list Monday, and, rather than designate Cruz for assignment, they optioned Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Cruz is batting .096 and has scarcely played for weeks, but he is out of options and could be lost to another team if L.A. demotes him. With Hanley Ramirez’s return on the horizon, the Dodgers decided they can get through the next week or so with a combination of Cruz and Nick Punto playing shortstop. So, Gordon had to go back to Albuquerque, and he seemed far from pleased, chucking his batting gloves at his locker stall.

“I don’t know how happy he was about it, but I told him he made a lot of strides defensively,” manager Don Mattingly said.

According to Mattingly, the Dodgers still see offensive upside in Gordon, although he is a .251 hitter (with a .296 on-base percentage) in his first 590 major league at-bats. Mattingly compared Gordon to Michael Bourne, a late bloomer known for his blinding speed.

Ramirez, on the disabled list since May 4 with a strained left hamstring, likely will begin a minor league rehab assignment next weekend. He figures to join the Dodgers some time next week.

Here are lineups for the opener of four straight games against the Los Angeles Angels:

Angels
1. Erick Aybar SS
2. Mike Trout CF
3. Albert Pujols 1B
4. Mark Trumbo LF
5. Josh Hamilton RF
6. Howie Kendrick 2B
7. Alberto Callaspo 3B
8. Hank Conger C
9. C.J. Wilson LHP

Dodgers
1. Nick Punto SS
2. Mark Ellis 2B
3. Matt Kemp CF
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5. Scott Van Slyke RF
6. Ramon Hernandez C
7. Jerry Hairston Jr. LF
8. Luis Cruz 3B
9. Zack Greinke RHP