MILWAUKEE -- Hanley Ramirez's trip to the 15-day disabled list will require the Los Angeles Dodgers to resort to a shortstop-by-committee situation to fill his void.
Ramirez, who left Friday's game at Milwaukee after one inning and did not play Saturday, was diagnosed with a right oblique strain, the Dodgers finally announced Sunday morning. Ramirez had an MRI early Saturday evening.
Darwin Barney, who was acquired in a July 28 trade with the Chicago Cubs, was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque and will be one part of a three-man crew that is expected to absorb innings at shortstop until Ramirez can return. Miguel Rojas and Justin Turner also are expected to get time at shortstop.
"We will mix and match a little bit," manager Don Mattingly said Sunday morning. "We'll see what Darwin looks like there. I know he's played a little bit [of shortstop] in Triple-A, but I can't just sit here and say I will just use one guy all the time. It will be a little bit of mixing and matching."
Rojas figures to get the most time in place of Ramirez, primarily because of his defensive abilities. Turner supplies a little more offense, but struggled at short late in Friday's game against the Brewers, making three misplays in a single inning, two of which resulted in errors on back-to-back hitters.
While the recovery from an oblique injury can be tricky, Mattingly was trying to be as optimistic as possible.
"I felt like we're being a little bit cautious," Mattingly said of the move to put Ramirez on the DL. "It's maybe something where he can play in 10 days and we're going to be sitting here for five days with him being ready to play. But we felt like if he was playing short for seven, eight, nine days and he did something worse to it, then we're kind of risking the rest of the year. I think we want to be cautious at this point to assure us he will be available down the stretch."
Even the standard oblique injury can cause downtime longer than 15 days. The issue is that even when the side feels better, more rest is needed to avoid re-injuring the area.
Barney was removed from Saturday's game at Albuquerque after two at-bats. He was playing third base Saturday, and has played some shortstop at Albuquerque, but had primarily played at second base with the Cubs since he arrived in the major leagues in 2010. He won a Gold Glove at second base in 2012.
A shortstop during his college days at Oregon State, Barney has only 19 games of experience at shortstop in the major leagues.
"We'll kind of see him at short and second and see how that mix works as we get into it," Mattingly said. "He took a red-eye flight last night so he will be a little bit out of it today. But we'll see how that works out and how he looks."
Because of his overnight flight from the West Coast, Barney was allowed to arrive to the clubhouse later than the rest of the team and was not available for comment.