GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers first baseman James Loney returned to the field on Monday for the first time since missing two days with a swollen left knee.
Loney played catch, took a few ground balls, and hit in the indoor batting cages. Manager Don Mattingly said if he comes out of that without incident, he could resume running on Tuesday and possibly play on Wednesday.
Loney complained of stiffness, but no pain, after playing on Friday night. An MRI revealed no structural damage in the knee, which was operated on 10 years ago. The knee hasn't caused Loney to miss any time since he signed with the Dodgers in 2002.
Filling in for Loney at first base in Monday's game against the Rockies was Hector Gimenez, a switch-hitting catcher in his 10th professional season, who hit .305 with 16 home runs for Double-A Altoona last year. Mattingly said Gimenez's bat was "interesting," and he wanted to test his defensive versatility. Gimenez holds a Major League roster spot.
Several Dodgers pitchers throw good bullpens
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Hong-Chih Kuo, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Guerrier and Scott Elbert had constructive mound sessions on Monday before the Dodgers' road game with Colorado.
Kuo had another uneventful bullpen session, and now is primed for his exhibition debut, likely on Wednesday at home against Seattle. He has been brought along slowly to preserve his delicate elbow, although he hasn't complained of any discomfort.
Broxton and Guerrier pitched two innings each of live batting practice -- which was designed to build their stamina, as well as work on certain pitches.
Broxton said the up and down of a second inning was helpful "because you have to sit and relax, then fire back up. It's good for your endurance."
2010 Spring Training - Los Angeles Dodgers
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Elbert, who has struggled with wildness, followed with one inning of batting practice, working on a mechanical flaw with improved results.
In Tuesday's action, Hiroki Kuroda will pitch in a "B" game against Seattle, with John Ely starting the regular game at Milwaukee, followed by top pitching prospect Rubby De La Rosa. Kuroda is scheduled to pitch against the Brewers later in the spring, and the club didn't want him facing the same team twice.
Carroll doesn't make trip to Scottsdale
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers infielder Jamey Carroll was scratched from the trip to Talking Stick for Monday's game with the Rockies, but he reported his bruised finger had improved.
Carroll was hit on the right index finger on Saturday, but X-rays were negative. He was unable to throw on Sunday, but played catch Monday and took grounders. He has been able to hit.
Carroll said he hoped to return to game action in another day or two.
Reserves behind Dodgers' biggest outburst
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers scored their most runs of the spring on Monday in a 7-1 win over Colorado. But the offense came mostly from hitters who don't project onto the Opening Day lineup, if even the roster.
Jerry Sands, the organization's Minor League player of the year, slugged a three-run homer and tripled. He's hitting .462, is the only Dodger with two homers, and has a team-high five RBIs. But he's not on the 40-man roster, and almost certainly won't make the club out of Spring Training.
Xavier Paul also homered, but he's out of options and ranks no higher than sixth on the outfield depth chart -- with the Dodgers likely to carry only five.
A.J. Ellis had two hits and an RBI. But with catchers Rod Barajas and Dioner Navarro ahead of him, Ellis probably winds up back at Triple-A.
Tony Gwynn also stole his fifth base and Eugenio Velez his third. But Gwynn is likely the fifth outfielder, and Velez is a longshot to make the club.
Meanwhile, Rafael Furcal is hitting .154, although he made two spectacular defensive plays up the middle; Casey Blake is hitting .111; Andre Ethier .125, and Juan Uribe snapped an 0-for-8 start with his first hit and is at .100.
Manager Don Mattingly likes Paul, who missed time the past two years with an infected knee and a bulging disk in his neck.
"I've always liked X-Paul," said Mattingly. "He has a quick bat, a nice stroke. He's been snakebit. His opportunities have been limited. Let him play, and see where it goes."
Mattingly managed Sands in the Arizona Fall League. He said he likes Sands best as a corner outfielder, but wouldn't be surprised if he adapted to first base, where he split time Monday with Hector Gimenez, as James Loney rested his knee.
"He's legit," Mattingly said of Sands. "He keeps getting better. He's a tough one. It depends on what's going on."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.