Blake returns to Dodgers as Uribe hits shelf

Blake returns to Dodgers as Uribe hits shelf

Blake returns to Dodgers as Uribe hits shelf
LOS ANGELES -- As expected, the Dodgers activated third baseman Casey Blake and placed Juan Uribe on the disabled list with a left hip strain on Saturday. Blake hit second for the Dodgers on Saturday against Arizona.

Manager Don Mattingly had said as long as Blake felt comfortable in his final rehab start with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, there was a good chance he'd be activated before Saturday's game. Blake went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

"I still feel it, but it's to the point I could rest it until October and still maybe feel it," said Blake, who struggled to regain his timing during rehab, but once he had it, he felt fine. "So we're gonna hopefully get through it.

As for Uribe, he hasn't played since July 23, when he was removed midway through a game against Washington with pain in his lower left abdomen. His time on the disabled list will be retroactive to Sunday. It will be Uribe's second stint on the DL this season, both with hip problems.

Mattingly didn't sound too optimistic when asked if Uribe would return as soon as his 15 days are up, but he said, for now, that is the team's expectation.

"I would expect [he'll be back then]," Mattingly said. "But I really thought this was gonna be a couple-day thing yesterday."

Blake (sprained neck) is returning from his third DL stint, and hasn't been able to find consistency this season because of constant injury trouble. He has played in just 44 games and his hitting .243 with four home runs.

Earlier this week, Mattingly said he would be altering Blake's role a bit. Instead of using him every day, he plans to rotate Blake, Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles, filling the spots at second and third base.

Mattingly said Blake was OK with the decision, and said it should give Blake a better chance of staying healthy.

"I can get enough at-bats across the board to keep everybody sharp," Mattingly said of using the three infielders for two spots. "And in Casey's standpoint, sharp and healthy."

Blake agreed with Mattingly's strategy, so long as his neck is still bothering him. But he says when he's healthy, he expects to be in the lineup regularly.

"I haven't played in three weeks, so it would be pretty tough for me to step in there and play nine innings every day," Blake said. "We'll be smart about it, and I'll kind of ease my way back in there."

AJ Cassavell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.