- Tony Jackson, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp hasn't been placed on the 15-day disabled list, and a team spokesperson said he was listed as day to day and officially available to pinch hit on Monday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
No information was given to the media regarding Kemp's MRI exam other than that it showed a strained left hamstring, which team officials already knew he had.
Meanwhile, third baseman Juan Uribe was placed on the 15-day disabled list when his left wrist, which has been bothering him for about a month, suddenly worsened. To fill his roster spot, the team purchased the contract of utility man Elian Herrera, a switch hitter who was batting .358 with a .381 on-base percentage and nursing a 17-game hitting streak at Triple-A Albuquerque. Herrera can play six different positions.
The fact Kemp isn't going on the DL doesn't necessarily mean he won't be. There is precedent for teams pretending a player is available off the bench so as not to alert the opposing club that they are playing a man short until they can get an additional player from the minor leagues on a plane and to the major league city.
If that is what the Dodgers are doing, Kemp likely would be put on the DL either after the game or before Tuesday night's game with the Diamondbacks. If, however, Kemp were to actually pinch hit in Monday night's game, that would mean club officials genuinely are hoping to avoid placing Kemp on the DL, because actually appearing in the game would mean Kemp's earliest possible return from a potential DL stint would be delayed by a day.
Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache looked at the results of Kemp's MRI and then met with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Neither Kemp, ElAttrache nor Mattingly was made available for comment after that meeting.
Uribe, who is hitting .250 with one homer and 10 RBIs but has played solid defense for the Dodgers, will undergo an MRI on his wrist "sometime in the next 24 hours," Mattingly said.
The move leaves the Dodgers without a primary third baseman, and their secondary third baseman, Jerry Hairston, already is on the DL with a hamstring injury. That means Adam Kennedy, who replaced Uribe in the lineup on Monday night, probably will share time there with Justin Sellers and even Herrera.
To clear a 40-man roster spot for Herrera, the Dodgers designated Albuquerque outfielder Trent Oeltjen for assignment, meaning they have 10 days to trade, release or outright Oeltjen to the minors if he clears waivers. Oeltjen has been outrighted before, so he would have the right to refuse the assignment and become a free agent.
If Kemp goes onto the DL, the player likely to replace him on the roster probably is Jerry Sands, who is hitting just .241 for Albuquerque but slammed two home runs in Sunday night's victory over Salt Lake.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com