Kemp takes batting practice for first time since injury
Dodgers star eligible to return Tuesday, but yet to begin running on left ankle
ST. LOUIS -- Matt Kemp took another step toward a return Wednesday, taking batting practice for the first time in his rehab from a sprained left ankle, but the most significant obstacle to his recovery remains.
While eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, Kemp has yet to begin running on his ankle.
"It felt good to get back out there and hit a little bit," Kemp said. "I felt like a real baseball player. It's been tough. Play a little bit, don't play, out for a while, come back. You know, it's a start. It's better than where I was."
Kemp said the swelling is nearly gone, but couldn't provide a timetable for his return.
"I can't give you too much because I know just about the same as ya'll," he said. "My body is the person that's going to tell me whenever I'm ready to start running."
Hanley likely to avoid DL, resumes baseball activities
ST. LOUIS -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday that Hanley Ramirez is likely to avoid a stint on the disabled list as he recovers from the jammed right shoulder he suffered Saturday.
Ramirez was expected to resume some baseball activity -- likely hitting off a tee -- Wednesday and there are still no plans to perform an MRI on his shoulder, which would keep him out a few more days because the dye injected to enhance the image would increase swelling in his shoulder. Mattingly is hopeful Ramirez will be available at least in a pinch-hitting capacity when the team returns to Los Angeles to face the Rays this weekend.
"Hanley just keeps getting better and we're feeling a lot more confident that it's not going to be a DL [situation]," Mattingly said. "We're just hoping sooner than later."
While he didn't rule Ramirez out for Wednesday night's game in St. Louis, he said it's unlikely the 29-year-old shortstop would be available.
"I'd say he'd be doubtful on the NFL scale today," Mattingly said. "We're going to put him as doubtful right now, but you never know what will happen."
Wilson begins Class A rehab stint with perfect inning
ST. LOUIS -- Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson pitched a perfect inning in his first rehab appearance Wednesday, starting for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Wilson, who signed with the Dodgers on July 30 but is on the disabled list recovering from the elbow surgery he underwent in 2012, threw eight pitches (five strikes), according to MiLB.com. Wilson induced two groundouts and notched a strikeout.
"Just moving him forward, helping get him ready," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Trying to prepare him, giving him, I guess, a semi-Spring Training."
Mattingly said the plan is to have Wilson in the big leagues in a couple of weeks, but the Dodgers won't rush his return.
"We want him to be ready and we want him to feel like he's ready," Mattingly said. "There's no hard deadline when he has to be here, but as soon as possible. As soon as he feels like he's ready and everybody is good with it."
As for whether Wilson's trademark beard will be joining him in Los Angeles, Mattingly said he wasn't aware of any policies the Dodgers have on facial hair that would require him to shave it.
"I guess if it was something that was a distraction for the whole club, then we'd deal with it, but I'm not really anticipating any problems with any of that," Mattingly said. "I don't really care what guys do, honestly. Just come here ready to play, just respect the game from that standpoint."
Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.