LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Wednesday placed outfielder Juan Rivera on the 15-day disabled list with a significant hamstring strain or tear behind the left knee and recalled outfielder Scott Van Slyke from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Manager Don Mattingly described the injury as "fairly major," "significant" and "not just a strain."
He said newly signed Bobby Abreu would get most of Rivera's playing time in left field, but Mattingly is "not looking at him as an everyday guy" because that would "run the risk of beating him up."
Rivera, who missed six starts last month with a left hamstring injury, was removed from Tuesday night's game when he felt "pins and needles" in the same area behind the back of his left knee while sliding into third base.
An MRI exam on Wednesday revealed the extent of the injury.
"I felt something pop, but it didn't hurt," said Rivera. "They said this is better than pulling a hamstring. It might take two or three weeks and they want me to be 100 percent."
Rivera said he first felt discomfort three weeks ago in Milwaukee and tried to play through it. He said the injury Tuesday night felt different but occurred in the same spot as the previous discomfort.
Van Slyke, 25, was hitting .336 with eight homers and 25 RBIs playing mostly in the outfield, but occasionally at first base. He is the son of former Major League outfielder Andy Van Slyke.
A 14th-round Draft pick in 2005, Van Slyke spent four years at Rookie-level and Class A before putting his game together, hitting at least 20 home runs in two of the past three seasons. He pinch-hit in the sixth, delivering a broken-bat RBI single.
"I wasn't expecting this, but it was cool," said Van Slyke, last year's Minor League position player of the year. "I wasn't as nervous as I thought. I got the first swing out of the way and after that, it was just another game."
Hairston's strained hamstring not improving
LOS ANGELES -- Juan Rivera went on the disabled list Wednesday with a hamstring injury and Jerry Hairston could be right behind him.
Hairston's left hamstring, injured Sunday, is not responding and he had an MRI on Wednesday night that confirmed a strain.
"It feels the same as yesterday and the day before. It's a little frustrating, but it is what it is," Hairston said Wednesday. "We'll find out tomorrow or Friday. We haven't made a decision."
Maybe not, but manager Don Mattingly was so short-handed Wednesday night he used starting pitcher Chris Capuano to pinch-hit in a bunt situation.
"He's not as good as we'd like," Mattingly said of Hairston before the game. "If he was better, we'd be willing to give him more time. We need to get more info with this -- messing with a hamstring and it's still stiff. There's only so many days; you can't keep going short."
The most likely move should Hairston go on the DL is recalling Justin Sellers, who could back up Dee Gordon at shortstop.
Prospect Silverio has Tommy John surgery
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers Minor League outfielder Alfredo Silverio, who was seriously injured in an offseason auto accident, underwent Tommy John reconstruction on his right (throwing) elbow Wednesday and is out for the season.
Silverio had not played since the January accident in his native Dominican Republic, mostly because of a serious concussion that has been resolved. He also suffered bruises to his neck and shoulder.
Silverio, 24, was coming off a breakthrough Double-A season in his eighth professional year, which included four seasons in the Dominican Rookie League. The slow bloomer hit .306 with 16 homers, 85 RBIs and 90 runs and was added to the 40-man roster last November to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.
Silverio was ranked as the No. 15 prospect in the organization by MLB.com.
M. Ellis rests; break for A.J. Ellis on tap
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is using Thursday's day off to get an extra day of rest for both of his Ellises.
On Wednesday night against San Francisco, he sat second baseman Mark Ellis and replaced him with Adam Kennedy. Ellis had started 26 of the club's 30 games. Kennedy is 5-for-16 against Giants starter Tim Lincecum.
On Friday night against Colorado, Mattingly said he will sit catcher A.J. Ellis and give Matt Treanor a start. Ellis has started 24 of the club's 30 games and is batting .348 with runners in scoring position.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.