Jay Gibbons to have eye exams

The straightforward news of the day is that, as expected, Carlos Monasterios was optioned to the minors (while Wilkin De La Rosa was also reassigned to minor-league camp). But an issue that has been developing under the radar is the condition of Jay Gibbons.

Gibbons has two singles and a walk in 23 plate appearances this spring, a .221 OPS that by itself would be disappointing but also too small of a sample to really worry about. However, Dodger manager Don Mattingly told reporters today that Gibbons is having problems with depth perception and is going to miss the next couple of days of play for some extended testing on his eyes.

Mattingly said that so far, Gibbons has tried both contact lenses and glasses and neither has done the trick, so they're trying to go back to find some contacts that will work.

With fellow left-handed hitter Tony Gwynn Jr. at least doing an imitation of a good outfielder (.387 on-base percentage, 6 for 6 on steals, quality defense), the Dodgers might well turn to a Gwynn-Marcus Thames platoon in the early going, with Gibbons serving as the fifth outfielder and as a backup first baseman — assuming his roster spot itself isn't in jeopardy or that a trip to the disabled list doesn't come.

It's a tough break for Gibbons, who has had such a long journey back to the bigs.

The Dodger infield remains in flux as well, with Casey Blake now scheduled for an MRI, as Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports. The Dodgers remain optimistic, but we could see more lineups with Juan Uribe at third base and Jamey Carroll at second.

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An article by Vin Scully — Inside the Dodgers passes it on. Read it with his voice in your head ...

... One of the temptations we have today is like the song of the Lorelei, wrecking you on the rocks. So much is provided to you with statistics and information that you run the risk of looking down when a play is taking place. So you really have to be careful about that. Every game has somewhat of a story, an individual or maybe both of the pitchers. Someone is doing something that adds to the story. And then, of course, you can't go overly dramatic in fourth game of the season with 158 games to go. But everything seems to fall into place in terms of the schedule, the game, where you are, the history of the teams. And they can get dull. Let's face it - there are some games when nothing happens. And then it's up to you to come up with a story or a historical aticidote to add a little spice to the telecast. ...

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Dodgers at Rangers, 1:05 p.m.