LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game on Thursday after injuring his little toe in a freak accident before Wednesday's game against the Padres.Ramirez, who hurt his toe accidentally kicking a stretching table while getting loose, was available to pinch-hit on Thursday, like he did on Wednesday when he struck out against right-hander Jon Garland in the fifth inning of the Dodgers' 10-5 loss. "It didn't get worse, but it's not totally better," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I think one more day. He hit in the cage and says he's all right to hit, but it's when he puts pressure on it so it's all about running in the outfield." Left fielder Garret Anderson got the start in Ramirez's place on Thursday and was slotted as the club's sixth hitter in the lineup with right-hander Kevin Correia on the mound for the Padres.
Furcal continues to improve
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal's strained left hamstring is beginning to feel better after a workout on Wednesday, and he continued to push his hamstring with a workout with trainer Stan Conte on Thursday and another scheduled for Friday."Stan is optimistic that if [Furcal] does the same thing today and tomorrow that physically he'd be all the way back," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "But I'd have to rethink that in my mind, because when you're playing shortstop, there is so much that comes as a surprise. So we'll see." Torre is contemplating another rehab assignment for Furcal, who went to Class A Inland Empire for a two-game rehab stint last week, but will wait to make that decision after seeing how Furcal comes out of his workouts. "No one wants to do it," Torre said of another rehab assignment. "We'll have to talk about it."
Padilla still on track for June return
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla threw another bullpen session from the mound on Thursday and is targeted for a mid-June return, according to manager Joe Torre."He's been good," Torre said. "Again, he's just throwing fastballs, so we still have a ways to go like throwing his slider and his sinker." Padilla, who is on the disabled list with a rare irritation of the radial nerve, will still need at least three rehab starts after he begins to throw all of his pitches in bullpen sessions. Right-hander Ramon Ortiz has been starting in Padilla's place in the rotation, but with an off-day on Monday, Torre is looking at skipping his fifth starter, depending on how many pitches left-hander Clayton Kershaw throws against the Padres on Thursday. "We'll have to wait the next two days to see how much Kershaw throws," Torre said. "Right now I'm thinking about keeping him on his day, but if he throws hard and goes deep we might have to rethink it." If the Dodgers choose to give Kershaw extra rest and keep a five-man rotation, Torre will have to decide whether to start Ortiz, who allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings in his start on Wednesday, or rookie right-hander Carlos Monasterios, who threw three scoreless innings after Ortiz's exit. "We'll discuss it," Torre said. "We were impressed with Monasterios last night, but the thing is you're not going to get the pitch count you have with Ramon. If we do continue with the five-hole for the next go-round we'll have to look at it."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.