Blake takes grounders, nearing rehab stint

Blake takes grounders, nearing rehab stint

Blake takes grounders, nearing rehab stint
LOS ANGELES -- Casey Blake took ground balls before batting practice Wednesday, and looked healthy doing so, a sign that a rehab assignment may be in the near future for the Dodgers third baseman on the disabled list with a strained neck.

Manager Don Mattingly said Blake is heading in "a positive direction" and on Tuesday said he'd like to get Blake into a rehab game as a designated hitter.

Fellow infielder Juan Uribe was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game after he suffered an injury to his lower left abdomen. Mattingly said Uribe is close to returning and he may be able to play Wednesday night if a pinch-hitting opportunity presented itself.

But Uribe has struggled this season, hitting just .204 with four homers after he signed a three-year deal in the offseason. Uribe spent time on the DL this year with a hip-flexor strain, but Mattingly said that injury -- or any other injury -- didn't linger or affect his play.