NEW YORK -- The Dodgers knew they had a tough decision to make room for the activation of Hyun-Jin Ryu on Wednesday, but the optioning of reliever Chris Withrow was not a popular one in the clubhouse.
Withrow had a 2.95 ERA in 20 games with 28 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. But mostly, according to manager Don Mattingly, he had options allowing him to be sent to the Minor Leagues. Veterans Jamey Wright, Paul Maholm, Brian Wilson, Chris Perez, Brandon League and J.P. Howell do not.
So, there you go.
"The main thing, it was more a numbers game than anything else," Mattingly said. "He's got options and we're in a little box. That's the primary reason. Secondary is, he's on a usage path that puts him farther down the road than he's ever been.
"It wasn't an easy one, like I told him. We've put the guy in high-leverage situations for a young guy, and his stuff always matches up against just about every hitter. At the end of the day, it's a numbers game for him with the options."
Withrow emerged from Mattingly's office after getting the news appearing a bit stunned, speaking briefly to a few teammates before leaving the clubhouse to make some phone calls.
The 2007 first-round pick has been literally unhittable by left-handed batters (0-for-27). The only glaring flaw is 15 walks in 59 plate appearances to right-handed hitters.
But with Wilson's inconsistency and Perez's May slump after a lights-out April, Withrow has been used frequently in the seventh and eighth innings. On Tuesday night, he inherited runners on first and second with one out in the seventh and escaped the inning with no runs scored. He was knocked around in Arizona on Saturday night for five runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Withrow's departure will put the onus back on Wilson, Perez and Howell to efficiently set up for closer Kenley Jansen, although League has been more reliable than anybody this year and could pick up some of Withrow's innings.
Dodgers call up Arruebarrena; Uribe to DL
NEW YORK -- It was no surprise that the Dodgers placed Juan Uribe on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a recurring strained right hamstring, but they reached down to a .208 hitter in Double-A to replace him.
Manager Don Mattingly said the club called up 24-year-old Erisbel Arruebarrena because it needs a true shortstop to give Hanley Ramirez an occasional day off. Arruebarrena has 25 games of organized ball experience, all at Double-A.
"We've got to be able to give Hanley a day here or there and get more out of him," Mattingly said.
Mattingly said Ramirez would not be moved to third base, which is his likely future position, because the club assured him he wouldn't be moved back and forth.
Rather, third base will be shared by Justin Turner and Chone Figgins while Uribe is out, which Mattingly hinted would be longer than the minimum 15 days.
"The last one [on the recent homestand], he missed seven days and you see what happened," Mattingly said of Uribe's initial injury. "Hamstrings are always messy. I've watched over the years and you've got to be careful, and it's hard to tell when the guy is fully healed."
Uribe wasn't, and now his sure glove and .303 batting average are likely out three to four weeks. Mattingly said he's satisfied with Ramirez's "effort and work" at shortstop, but it's no secret that Ramirez's bat is his calling card, not his glove.
"I don't feel we get a lack of effort in any way, shape or form," he said. "He is what he is."
Arruebarrena, a former Cuban teammate of Yasiel Puig who signed a five-year $25 million contract in February, is the opposite of Ramirez. He has a Major League-ready glove but a bat that Mattingly kindly described as "a work in progress." He is hitting .379 over his last seven games.
"He's going to pick it up," Mattingly said. "We simply feel he can catch it and cover. Those are the things we like most."
Uribe was injured in the ninth inning Tuesday night.
Also on Tuesday, Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero had a piece of his ear bitten off by teammate Miguel Olivo in a dugout fight. Mattingly said there was no discussion about whether Guerrero would have been called up instead of Arruebarrena if he had not been injured. Guerrero, who underwent plastic surgery, could be out a month.
Olivo suspended for dugout fracas at Triple-A
NEW YORK -- Triple-A Albuquerque catcher Miguel Olivo was suspended Wednesday, a day after he bit off part of teammate Alex Guerrero's left ear in a dugout fracas.
Olivo -- who is on the Dodgers' 40-man roster and was optioned back to Albuquerque a week ago when A.J. Ellis returned from the disabled list -- was replaced on the Isotopes roster by infielder Alex Liddi, who had been at extended spring training.
Guerrero underwent plastic surgery and could be sidelined a month or longer. He has not been placed on the disabled list yet.
Olivo will remain suspended pending the completion of an investigation into the altercation, according to the Dodgers.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.