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Hanley Ramirez injury: Dodgers shortstop could be headed for the disabled list

Erisbel Arruebarruena is on the roster to fill in, but losing Hanley for an extended period of time could cost the Dodgers.

Harry How

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was not in the starting lineup for a fourth consecutive game on Sunday, leading some to believe the 30-year-old slugger could be headed for the disabled list. Manager Don Mattingly did not sound enthusiastic about Ramirez' calf strain on Saturday, so a trip to the 15-day DL could be the next step.

Cuban defector and offseason free agent signing Erisbel Arruebarrena has started at short over LA's last four games. In 96 at bats with the Dodgers' Double-A affiliate in Charlotte, Arruebarrena -- pronounced "Aroo-ba-ray-na" -- was hitting just .208/.252/.302. However, he was originally signed by the Dodgers for his defensive prowess, so his presence in the lineup might be more beneficial to the team in that regard.

Ramirez is in the last year of the six-year, $70 million extension he signed with the then-Florida Marlins. An injury-riddled season could cost him a significant amount of money, but at this point, his injury isn't regarded as something that could limit him for an extended period of time.

Like any team, the Dodgers could use Ramirez' bat in the middle of their lineup, but Los Angeles might be better equipped to handle an injury to their starting shortstop than other teams -- like say, the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies, for example.

Other Dodgers notes

Center fielder Matt Kemp also missed a fourth straight game, but even though his health has been somewhat questionable at points this season, he appears to believe he is treated unfairly by Mattingly -- although he didn't directly say so.

"It doesn't matter what I think. I just want to go out there and play baseball."

Catcher A.J. Ellis is also on the shelf after sustaining a serious ankle injury while celebrating Josh Beckett's no hitter on Sunday. Ellis said he jumped and landed on Drew Butera's catching gear. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list and the club recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque.