LOS ANGELES -- As has been largely the case this season, the notion of a Los Angeles Dodgers infield with four preferred starters remains an elusive dream. The team is now down star shortstop Hanley Ramirez and key reserve Justin Turner, and the length of those absences remains to be seen.
The Dodgers announced Sunday that Turner has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The third baseman suffered the injury while running out a second inning double during Saturday's 9-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Turner was immediately taken out of the game, and his production of late could be difficult to replace. In the month of June, Turner was hitting .389 with 10 RBIs in 54 at-bats. On the season, Turner is hitting .302 with three home runs and 21 RBIs in 59 games, and has been a source of solid defense.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly expressed cautious optimism that Turner won't be sidelined too long.
"We're just hopeful that it's not one of those two-month hammies," Mattingly said. "More of between three and five games. He came in actually decent today. It's not one of those where he can't walk at all. We're just hopeful it's a regular type hamstring [injury]. They're never that good, anyway."
On the plus side, Ramirez's left calf injury, also aggravated during Saturday's contest, was deemed less immediately severe. While unavailable for Sunday's game against St. Louis, he is considered "day to day" for the time being, and there are no immediate plans for a stint on the disabled list.
Still, Mattingly acknowledged a DL visit isn't out of the question for Ramirez, who has already missed time because of the same troublesome calf. He also admitted balancing long-term health concerns against the need for Ramirez's production can be a delicate dance.
"I think it just depends on where you're at, at the time," Mattingly explained. "How do you balance it? Do you take that time and say, 'OK, if he's going to be ready to play in five or six days, do you go ahead and take the 15 [day disabled list time], get him moving into the All-Star break, get him totally healthy, hopefully. I think that's just the balance. Where does it tip, right? Where do you find that balance of giving him the shot to truly be healthy, or nursing him along and let him get healthy?
"We'll see where he's at and kind of make decisions depending on the severity of that."
Concurrent with Turner's DL stint, the Dodgers recalled infielder Carlos Triunfel from Triple-A Albuquerque.