TORONTO -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the club can more easily carry an injured Matt Kemp during the three-game series with the Blue Jays than it could against a National League opponent because of the designated hitter.
Kemp turned his left ankle on an awkward slide into home Sunday in Washington. Mattingly said a decision on whether Kemp needs to be disabled would likely be made on Tuesday.
"With the DH," said Mattingly, "I don't worry about it as much."
Monday night, he started Yasiel Puig in center field after putting Puig through extra fielding drills in center during early batting practice. Puig has started 36 games in right field for the Dodgers, but this was only his second start in center.
Mattingly said Andre Ethier would return to center field Tuesday night. Ethier served as designated hitter because Mattingly said he wanted to "get him off his feet for a game. He's been going hard for us."
Mattingly said he also wanted to give similar DH breaks to Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez or Hanley Ramirez.
Skip Schumaker started for the Dodgers in right field Monday night.
Kemp: X-rays negative, but he may return to DL
TORONTO -- X-rays on Matt Kemp's sprained left ankle were negative Monday night, but he left the clubhouse wearing an immobilizing boot and seems headed back to the disabled list.
Manager Don Mattingly said Kemp would likely miss the three-game series with the Blue Jays. He added that a decision on whether Kemp would need to be disabled would probably be made Tuesday.
But Mattingly added that he was less confident on Monday that Kemp would avoid a return to the disabled list than he was Sunday after Kemp injured the ankle with an awkward slide into home plate in the ninth inning of the Dodgers' 9-2 win in Washington.
Swelling in the ankle remained about the same as Sunday, even though Kemp spent most of Monday in the trainer's room receiving treatment.
Kemp already has spent two stints on the disabled list for shoulder and hamstring issues totaling 35 games and was activated only Sunday, when he hit a home run before suffering the injury when, he said, he didn't run hard from third base because he wasn't expecting a play at the plate.
Yasiel Puig started in center field for the Dodgers Monday night, but Mattingly said Andre Ethier would probably start in center Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Rookies sound, but club still seeks 'pen help
TORONTO -- Dodgers relievers have an 0.47 ERA in their last 12 games while limiting opposing hitters to a .160 batting average.
So, why are the Dodgers rumored to be looking for bullpen help, with Milwaukee's Francisco Rodriguez the new hot target?
"It's like you're asking me to say who's not good enough, but you're always trying to get better all the time," said manager Don Mattingly.
"We've still got a couple of young guys, we like their stuff, but we're not sure they're all the way ready for what we're doing here."
Specifically, they would be rookies Jose Dominguez and Chris Withrow. Dominguez has a 2.35 ERA in eight games, Withrow a 3.60 ERA in seven games. In the crunch time of a stretch run, however, the current Dodgers management team always looks for veteran bullpen help.
Among the relievers the Dodgers have acquired midseason during general manager Ned Colletti's tenure are Elmer Dessens, Scott Proctor, George Sherrill, Octavio Dotel, Randy Choate and Brandon League.
And they are still waiting on Carlos Marmol, acquired from the Cubs July 2. He allowed two homers in three appearances at Class A Rancho Cucamonga, but has thrown two scoreless innings most recently at Double-A Chattanooga.
• Dodgers pitcher Stephen Fife made a rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque Monday night, allowing two runs in four innings.
Fife, who went on the disabled list July 7 for the second time this year with shoulder bursitis, struck out six with one walk and two wild pitches.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Fife would make at least one more rehab start, but there doesn't appear to be space for him in the big league rotation even if he's healthy.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.