Torre, Colletti discuss potential upgrades
Pitching a top priority as July 31 Trade Deadline approachres
PHOENIX -- Joe Torre said he and general manager Ned Colletti have talked about areas to upgrade with the Trade Deadline approaching at the end of the month.
"I don't demand," Torre said. "I have been asked, and when asked my opinion, I tell him. We've talked about it."
Naturally, the main topic of discussion was pitching.
"We've been fortunate to be where we are, losing [Chad] Billingsley and [Vicente] Padilla to injuries," Torre said. "I think we've been pretty lucky."
Torre said John Ely has been "an upgrade" from Charlie Haeger, who started the season as the fifth starter, but Ely is still a rookie -- and Torre always prefers veterans in a pennant race.
There are also indications the Dodgers' pitching pursuit might include relief help.
Manny appears headed to disabled list
PHOENIX -- The Dodgers are expected to place outfielder Manny Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained right hamstring. It will be his second stint on the disabled list this season, having earlier missed time with a strained right calf.
Xavier Paul, the most likely replacement for Ramirez, was removed from Friday night's Triple-A Albuquerque game after six innings. Paul is hitting .348.
The 38-year-old Ramirez was out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive game in Friday's 12-5 loss to the D-backs and was replaced by Garret Anderson in left field. Although he told manager Joe Torre his leg felt better, Torre wasn't sure that was enough.
"We have to find out what good is and what that gets him and us," Torre said. "We have to figure out if it's worth playing one man short."
Torre said Ramirez was not available to pinch-hit Friday night and probably would be unavailable the entire weekend. Ramirez injured the leg running the bases in the first inning Tuesday night, so he could be disabled retroactively to Wednesday.
"We don't know to what degree it will get better, and what it gets the team and what he can offer the team," said Torre. "Is he a player by Tuesday, or a pinch-hitter by Monday or Tuesday? We have to decide if it's worth playing a man short."
Hu set to undergo left thumb surgery
PHOENIX -- Chin-lung Hu, the Dodgers' insurance shortstop at Triple-A Albuquerque, will undergo surgery to repair a broken left thumb Wednesday in Arizona and miss six to eight weeks.
Hand specialist Dr. Don Chandler will perform the surgery.
Hu has had repeated callups the past three seasons, most recently when starting shortstop Rafael Furcal went on the bereavement list for his father's death last month. He's also had a series of injuries that includes blurred vision and a broken nose suffered in a fall at home.
The Dodgers are somewhat short-handed in middle infielders with Major League experience since Nick Green opted out of his contract and left Albuquerque to sign with Toronto last month.
In better news at Albuquerque, catcher Lucas May, first baseman John Lindsey and outfielder Jay Gibbons have been named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team.
Anderson, Johnson to fill in for Manny in left
PHOENIX -- With Manny Ramirez unavailable Friday night and possibly headed to the disabled list with a bad right hamstring, manager Joe Torre indicated he would choose daily between Garret Anderson and Reed Johnson to replace him.
"It will be the type of pitchers or the match-up," Torre said.
Anderson started Friday night against D-backs starter Edwin Jackson. Johnson has the better numbers against Saturday night starter Rodrigo Lopez and Anderson has the better numbers against Sunday starter Dan Haren.
On the season, however, Johnson is batting .281 while Anderson has struggled to a .180 average, which includes an 0-for-5 tab on Wednesday with four strikeouts.
Johnson, however, struggled in his start against the Giants.
"Not too good," Torre said. "He was even making fun of himself. And he took a foul ball [from Ronnie Belliard while in the on-deck circle] as an add-on. He's jumping at it again. It looks like he's trying to pull the ball. That's why he was out here today taking extra hitting, with the roof open, and that was really nice."
If Ramirez goes on the disabled list, the most likely call-up would be Xavier Paul.
Torre wants to move past Kemp's incident
PHOENIX -- The dugout incident that helped get Matt Kemp benched was almost a week ago, but Joe Torre keeps getting asked about it -- and keeps deflecting the questions.
"He was struggling and frustrated, and I just thought in his best interest, and hopefully ours in the long term, that he sits down a couple days," said Torre.
Kemp snapped at bench coach Bob Schaefer during Saturday's game against the Yankees. Schaefer was reminding Kemp to back up second base on steal attempts.
"He's still young," Torre said. "We have high expectations for him. But you can't get instant gratification. A big part of this is mental. The more you don't succeed, the more pressure you put on yourself. It has to bother him. He figures it's something for him to figure out. He's not looking to blame anything or anybody.
"Right now, I'd like to think about what he's done since he's back playing, instead of rehashing old stuff."
Kemp replaced an injured Manny Ramirez on Tuesday night and went 2-for-4, then started Wednesday and went 3-for-4 with a home run, walk and three RBIs.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.