LOS ANGELES -- The sore left knee that forced third baseman Justin Turner to the bench during the Los Angeles Dodgers' loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night will also keep him out for the next few days, at least.
That was the diagnosis from Dodgers manager Don Mattingly before Sunday's series finale against the Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Alex Guerrero started Sunday at third base, and as of now he seems to be the lone replacement for Turner unless shortstop Jimmy Rollins miraculously gets healthy enough (finger) to play the field, allowing Corey Seager to slide to third, or unless the team is comfortable enough putting Chase Utley there.
Neither alternative seems very likely at this point.
"We'll watch [Turner] over the next few days to see how he does," said Mattingly, who said on Saturday that Turner has been dealing with knee issues for a couple of years. "I don't think it's anything totally new. It just flared up. We'll be cautious with him."
Turner, who is hitting .290 with a .366 OBP and 135 OPS+ in 413 plate appearances, could be available to pinch-hit, but other than that he will be on the shelf until further notice. That leaves Guerrero, who is batting .199/.228/.347 in 84 games since May 1, as the primary replacement. The Dodgers could also use Ronald Torreyes there, but he's got all of six big league plate appearances at this point.
Rollins is still days away from attempting to throw a baseball again, so that pretty much nixes the idea of Seager playing third. And even with Utley having "his best day" of workouts at the position on Saturday, Mattingly is still noncommittal on when he might actually get into a game at third base.
"We're getting more and more comfortable [with Utley at third]," Mattingly said. "We felt like after working out there yesterday, that was probably his best day out there. Sounds like he's willing to do it to the point where he'll give us his best effort. So we're getting closer to that."
Mending hamstrings: With Howie Kendrick back on the active roster, the Dodgers now have three players still nursing hamstring injuries on the disabled list: Yasiel Puig, Kiké Hernandez and Jose Peraza.
Hernandez is the closest to returning. He has been running at about 100 percent for a few days and the team will send him to its Camelback Ranch spring training facility Tuesday to get him live at-bats in preparation for a return.
Peraza could join him on that trip, but the more likely plan as of Sunday was that Peraza would go to Arizona on Thursday when the Dodgers leave for a seven-game road trip.
Puig is more of a work in progress. He has been running at 65 percent, Mattingly said he has heard from the training staff. The team is hoping to send him to Arizona on Thursday as well, but he is still experiencing tightness in his left hamstring.