CINCINNATI -- Clayton Kershaw spent Saturday preparing as if he will be the Dodgers' starting pitcher in Sunday's series finale against the Reds.
Manager Don Mattingly didn't rule it out, nor in. He said Kershaw is "still in play" for Sunday, but Aaron Harang is still the listed starter on short rest. It's likely to be a pregame decision, as it was when Kershaw was scratched from a start in San Francisco on Sept. 9.
"I can't give you an answer. I don't have an answer," Mattingly said. "We haven't gotten the green light that we're all on go. The medical staff is in deep thought over there. When I know, I'll let you know.
"It's fair to say he's getting ready to pitch again. Just don't know when."
Mattingly confirmed, however, that the standings play a role in the decision. As long as the games matter, apparently, a Kershaw start in on the table.
The defending National League Cy Young winner and staff ace, annoyed with intrusive questioning about his health, spoke briefly to reporters.
"I'm preparing to start," he said. "Don't know when. Getting closer."
Kershaw, determined to pitch despite a right hip impingement that is likely to need offseason surgery, came out of his Friday 20-pitch bullpen session limber enough to run in the outfield. He stretched, did a normal non-throwing bullpen session on the mound and studied scouting reports and video of Reds hitters.
"I've definitely made some modifications [in his routine] because of the hip problem, but I'm keeping to it the best I can," he said. "Injuries aren't for anybody else to worry about but me."
Victorino out again, but sore left wrist improving
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers left fielder Shane Victorino was out of the lineup for a second game Saturday, but his injured left wrist was improved, manager Don Mattingly said.
"He's better today," Mattingly said. "He can do a few more things. He's playing catch and I think he's going to hit inside. Last night he couldn't even play defense."
Victorino was injured hitting the wall while chasing Danny Espinosa's fourth-inning double in the corner Thursday night against the Nationals in Washington.
He again was replaced in the lineup by Juan Rivera.
Jansen empathizes with ailing Reds skipper Baker
CINCINNATI -- Of everybody that feels for ailing Reds manager Dusty Baker, nobody in the game appreciates the gravity of an irregular heartbeat more than Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen.
Jansen, who threw a perfect inning Friday night to help keep the Reds from clinching the National League Central, faces offseason surgery to deal with his arrhythmia, a condition apparently similar to what hospitalized the 63-year-old Baker in Chicago this week.
"I feel bad for Dusty," said the 24-year-old Jansen, who pitched for only the second time after missing three weeks with his latest episode. "They say that it's dangerous for me and I'm young. I'll be OK. He's not so young. I hope he gets well soon."
It will take surgery for Jansen. He expects to require a catheter ablation, in which doctors will make an incision in his groin and, with a flexible tube, seek out and cauterize abnormal tissue that triggers his atrial fibrillation. He's said he's looking at a three-month rehab.
As serious as that sounds, Jansen said health is not on his mind when he's on the mound.
"I don't think about the heart stuff when I'm out there," he said. "If it goes out of whack, I'm not going to worry about it. I can't in a critical situation like this. I'm just taking care of my eating and I'll be fine."
Jansen said he was thrilled to be part of the postseason race again.
"I'm finally able to take care of business," he said.
Hanley Ramirez is considering playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic for the first time in several years, manager Don Mattingly said. "He's talked about it," Mattingly said. "I think it's good for guys. He said he hasn't played there in awhile and wants to work on stuff."
A.J. Ellis came into Saturday night's game 0-for-26, and Mattingly conceded it might be the result of playing more games than he ever has. "He hit a bullet to left last night," said Mattingly. "I can't say it's the result of catching that many games. It could be. You see a lot of catchers wear down late in the year. You look at the mental nature of playing every game decided by one run. That wears guys down too. Every pitch is big."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.