Herrera feels OK after plunking scare

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers utility man Elian Herrera narrowly escaped injury Sunday when White Sox pitcher Jake Petricka grazed his helmet with a fastball.

"If I didn't move, maybe I die right now," said Herrera. "It was coming right at my face. Not good."

Herrera remained in the game until the Dodgers' half of the inning ended, then was removed for precautionary purposes, but said he was fine.

Herrera, a nine-year Minor Leaguer, suddenly stepped in at second base last year when Mark Ellis was injured. He's in a tough competition to make the club this spring with utility roles virtually assured for Jerry Hairston, Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto.