Blake hospitalized with infected left elbow

Blake hospitalized with infected left elbow

Blake hospitalized with infected left elbow
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake is hospitalized after undergoing surgery on his left elbow for a staph infection and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.

The Dodgers placed Blake on the 15-day disabled list Friday and recalled infielder Russell Mitchell from Triple-A Albuquerque.

Manager Don Mattingly said second baseman Juan Uribe, who returned to the lineup Friday night after missing four starts with a thigh strain, will be his primary third baseman. Aaron Miles and Ivan De Jesus are likely to split time at second base.

Blake underwent a one-hour "washout" operation Thursday at USC University Hospital to remove the infected bursa sac. The Dodgers still aren't sure how the infection developed, because Blake had no open wound.

It is assumed that Blake bumped the elbow, but he doesn't remember when. He was hit by a pitch in the triceps area Sunday, the day before symptoms arose, but Los Angeles trainer Stan Conte said there was enough distance between that and the infected area to lead doctors to believe they were not related.

Blake is expected to be released from the hospital Saturday and might be allowed in the clubhouse by Monday, but the open wound is prone to re-infection, which would be considered a serious setback. He will have the arm in a sling for 10 days before potentially beginning a rehab assignment.

Conte said a culture ruled out an MRSA infection, which is extremely resistant to medication.

Blake opened the season on the disabled list with an irritated thoracic disk. He isn't sure how he suffered the injury that led to the infection, but it sent him to the hospital in Miami earlier this week for IV antibiotics.

Mitchell was hitting .214 for the Isotopes with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 17 games.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.