SAN FRANCISCO -- Jamey Carroll has learned that being the backup to shortstop Rafael Furcal isn't really like being a backup at all.
"That's why I'm here. It's my job," said Carroll, the valuable utility man who again has inherited the starting job with Furcal suffering a broken left thumb Monday night that will keep him sidelined four to six weeks.
"I just prepare and get ready. Obviously it's an unfortunate situation. Nobody wants it to happen. It's a situation now to just go out there and play."
Carroll played 69 games at shortstop last year, including 25 in a row from April 28 to May 25 when Furcal hurt a hamstring (the Dodgers went 17-8 in those games).
Carroll, 37, had a rough spring, suffering a badly bruised right index finger when he was hit by a pitch while trying to bunt. He developed bad habits with his swing while trying to compensate for the injury, which no longer bothers him throwing.
Offensively, he's hitting .393, including three hits Monday night while starting at second base because Juan Uribe was starting at third for Casey Blake.