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Dodgers' Dioner Navarro Has Strained Oblique, Expected To Start Season On Disabled List

The Los Angeles Dodgers will likely add catcher Dioner Navarro to the growing list of players who will start the season on the disabled list. Navarro was a scratch to Thursday's lineup when he felt a pain in his right side during morning batting practice. He underwent an MRI exam yesterday, and today the results showed that Navarro has a strained oblique. It is essentially the same injury as Jon Garland, and Navarro is expected to miss "weeks, not days," per the team.

Navarro will likely join third baseman Casey Blake and pitchers Vicente Padilla and Garland on the disabled list when the season opens next Thursday at Dodger Stadium against the Giants. However, all four players are expected to be back at some point in April.

Navarro's injury opens the door for Hector Gimenez to make the team as the backup catcher. Gimenez, who is out of options, has also played first base and left field this spring, and the Dodgers like his bat as an option off the bench. Gimenez had a breakout season in 2010, hitting .305/.384/.533, but he was a 27-year old in Double A. The other option is A.J. Ellis, who is the better defensive catcher but also has an option remaining, which will affect the decision.

The Dodgers play two games today, with the first one in Tucson against the Diamondbacks in a game to raise money for the victims of the January 8 Tucson shooting. Tim Redding, vying for Garland's fifth starter spot with tonight's starter John Ely, will start in Tucson, and be followed on the mound by 2010 Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year Rubby De La Rosa. Here are today's lineups:


Gwynn CF
Carroll SS
Ethier RF
Gibbons LF
Loney 1B
Miles 2B
Ellis C
Sellers 3B
Redding P


Roberts 3B
Parra LF
Upton RF
Young CF
Miranda 1B
Ransom 2B
Owings SS
Blanco C
Galarraga P

For more Dodgers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.