LOS ANGELES -- Casey Blake took ground balls before batting practice Wednesday, and looked healthy doing so, a sign that a rehab assignment may be in the near future for the Dodgers third baseman on the disabled list with a strained neck.
Manager Don Mattingly said Blake is heading in "a positive direction" and on Tuesday said he'd like to get Blake into a rehab game as a designated hitter.
Fellow infielder Juan Uribe was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game after he suffered an injury to his lower left abdomen. Mattingly said Uribe is close to returning and he may be able to play Wednesday night if a pinch-hitting opportunity presented itself.
But Uribe has struggled this season, hitting just .204 with four homers after he signed a three-year deal in the offseason. Uribe spent time on the DL this year with a hip-flexor strain, but Mattingly said that injury -- or any other injury -- didn't linger or affect his play.
Use of replay raises concerns for Mattingly
LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly saw the replay of the game-ending play at the plate in Atlanta on Tuesday night.
The Dodgers manager said he probably would have been just as furious at the 19th-inning safe call of home-plate umpire Jerry Meals as Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle was.
But that doesn't mean he's in support of Major League Baseball implementing instant replay -- although he does expect there to be changes in the coming years.
"How far are we gonna go with the replay?" Mattingly said. "This game is gonna take forever. People already complain about the length of games. Just how far do you go? That's the biggest issue with replay. Could there be some uses for it? Yeah."
Mattingly said the length of games was the best argument against replay, but added he appreciates the human element of keeping replay out of the game -- simply because the umpires are almost always right, he said.
That said, he sees changes on the horizon, and as long as it's not too invasive, he's not opposed. As for how a system would work, he joked when asked about an NFL-like challenge system.
"Which ones do you challenge?" Mattingly said. "Do you save them? Does it cost you a timeout? Or maybe it costs you a trip to the mound."
Mattingly said he felt for the Pirates to have a meaningful July game decided against them on a blown call. Had it happened to him, he said he'd have been out of the dugout arguing, too.
"Probably a lot like Clint at that point," Mattingly said. "If I could still get out there after 19 innings. That was tough because it didn't even look bang-bang."
AJ Cassavell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.