LOS ANGELES -- Ken Howell's ongoing battle with diabetes necessitated another operation on his foot Thursday and he remains hospitalized, with Jim Slaton called up from Camelback Ranch-Glendale to fill in as Dodgers bullpen coach.It is the second diabetes-related episode this year for Howell, who missed five weeks because of an infected blister on his foot. He returned May 17. In 2008, Howell had one of his toes amputated because of diabetes-related complications.
Loney, Rivera remain Dodgers' first-base platoon
LOS ANGELES -- Manager Don Mattingly had no hard feelings toward Carlos Lee one day after the Dodgers pulled the plug on a trade for the Astros first baseman.
"Obviously, he's not with us," Mattingly said. "Guys have their reasons for whatever they do. I don't really judge that."
The manager acknowledged rumors and trades are simply part of the business and it's natural that some fall through like the one with Lee.
"It's this time of year," he said. "I don't try to get too excited about anything. We talk about all the different things [general manager Ned Colletti] is talking about and if they happen, they happen. If they don't, they don't."
In the meantime, that means James Loney is still the first baseman in a platoon with Juan Rivera.
Loney, who was in a 1-for-27 slump heading into the weekend when rumors first started, had an encouraging game Sunday night. The first baseman had an RBI double in the seventh and finished the 8-3 win over the Mets with a pair of RBIs.
"James has been an enigma," Mattingly said.
Loney went into Mattingly's office after Sunday's game and told the manager that he is back and confident.
Injured trio to play Tuesday at Class A
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are invading Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., on Tuesday as three of their regulars -- Matt Kemp, Mark Ellis and Javy Guerra -- are slated to play rehab games for the Class A Quakes, who announced the game has been sold out.
Kemp will DH in what will be his first game since re-injuring his left hamstring, and then he'll likely play five innings in center in his second game before going back to the DH spot.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the team will work in off-days and easy days for Kemp so he can ease back into playing over the next week. Mattingly isn't sure how many rehab games Kemp will play, but the team is planning for the All-Star break to be Kemp's off-days before coming back.
Ellis, who had an emergency fasciotomy May 20 to relieve swelling in his left leg, will likely complete a four-game rehab stint on Tuesday by playing seven innings. The second baseman went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, one run scored, a walk and a strikeout in seven innings on Monday night. Mattingly said Ellis will have an off-day on Wednesday before hopefully joining the team in Arizona.
Guerra, who underwent right knee surgery on June 5, started Sunday's game for Rancho Cucamonga and gave up one hit and one run in one inning. He said he woke up feeling fine and he'll go through the same routine on Tuesday.
"I was really happy with the way it went overall," said Guerra, who was back at Dodger Stadium on Monday. "I was content that everything felt great. I used all my pitches and everything was there. I'm just pumped to be back on the field."
Andre Ethier won't be with his teammates in Rancho Cucamonga, but he is also making progress to get back on the field. Mattingly said the right fielder was feeling good on Monday and that he is doing mostly everything, except hitting on the field. He wasn't in the lineup on Monday as he recovers from a strain in his left oblique muscle, and Mattingly wouldn't commit to a return date, citing the need to be cautious.
Dodgers sign four international prospects
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' new ownership group continued its push into the international market with the signing of four players on Monday.
The team signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig earlier in the week and drafted Cuban left-hander Onelki Garcia in the third round of last month's First-Year Player Draft. On Monday, the Dodgers signed four 16-year-old players: pitchers Lenix Osuna, Victor Gonzalez and William Soto and catcher Julian Leon.
"We're pleased to announce we have been extremely active in the July 2 signing period and have signed multiple players with more on the horizon," scouting director Logan White said. "We are able to get three fine young arms with bright futures."
Osuna is the son of former Dodgers pitcher Antonio Osuna, who went 24-21 with a 3.28 ERA over six seasons as a reliever. Osuna, Gonzalez and Leon are all from Mexico, while Soto is from Venezuela.