Torre hopes Ethier can play on Monday

Torre hopes Ethier can play Monday

LOS ANGELES -- Outfielder Andre Ethier, who left Saturday night's game in the eighth inning after injuring the big toe on his right foot when hit by a John Lackey pitch, was out of the Dodgers' lineup Sunday.

Ethier already had a split toenail from Spring Training and it was compounded when pounded by the pitch. Manager Joe Torre said Ethier was available for pinch-hitting and possibly late-inning action and was hopeful Ethier would return to the lineup Monday in Colorado.

"It was throbbing last night," Ethier said as he carefully pulled a sock over the bandaged toe as he dressed in the clubhouse. "It couldn't even take the pressure of the blanket on it in bed. I had to hang my foot off the bed so nothing would touch it."

The injury also caused Torre to get creative with his lineup. He rested shortstop Rafael Furcal as planned, but he didn't give catcher Russell Martin the day off as expected.

Martin, who drove in two runs Saturday night, was batting second in the lineup, and Casey Blake moved from eighth to Ethier's cleanup spot, followed by James Loney, Matt Kemp and rookie Jamie Hoffmann, making his first Major League start for Ethier in right field, with Juan Castro batting eighth and replacing Furcal at short.

"I only stayed with [giving the game off to] Raffy," said Torre. "I changed my mind. There are a lot of day games coming up. I had thoughts of putting Casey in right field but went with Hoffmann. I slept all over it and made the decisions after meeting with the coaches today."

Hoffman, who took a questionable called third strike with a runner on third base in the ninth inning Saturday night, said he hopes to do a better job controlling his emotions Sunday.

"I just froze up -- a fastball down the middle. That's a little uncharacteristic of me," he said. "I've never been in front of 55,000 people. I guess it was butterflies. I have to fall back on all the work I've done and what I'm comfortable doing and calm down. I've just never been in a stadium with all those people and I've got to relax. It's the same game of baseball."

Torre said the report on Jason Schmidt was generally upbeat after Schmidt was struck by a line drive on his right temple in an injury rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday night.

Torre said the blow broke the skin, but Schmidt required no tests and was still expected to make a regular start this week.

Teammates, however, said pictures of Schmidt e-mailed to team trainer Stan Conte revealed a large welt frighteningly close to the pitcher's right eye. No bones were believed to be broken.

Torre said outfielder Xavier Paul, who is on the disabled list, will likely remain hospitalized until Tuesday or Wednesday because of a bad staph infection and he will need "about three weeks before he can start doing baseball stuff. He has to be completely healed."

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