LOS ANGELES -- Manny Ramirez struck out twice and walked in three plate appearances Thursday night in his second game of a rehab assignment with Class A Inland Empire.Ramirez, out since July 17 with a strained right calf, is expected to play a third game for Inland Empire on Friday night. Then the decision will be made whether Ramirez is ready to return to the Major Leagues or join Triple-A Albuquerque for further rehab against a higher level of competition. After being the designated hitter (single, walk and strikeout) on Wednesday night, Ramirez played left field for five innings Thursday.
Furcal gets good news, will continue rehab
LOS ANGELES -- Results of a bone scan on Rafael Furcal's lower back came back negative Thursday night and he will continue with his ongoing rehab for a lower back strain.Furcal, who had disk surgery in 2008, has been disabled with lower back problems since Aug. 3. An earlier MRI exam ruled out another disk problem, but after progressing to the verge of a Minor League rehab assignment on last weeks trip, he arrived at Dodger Stadium after a cross-country flight with a setback. Trainer Stan Conte said he does not believe the problem was directly related to the flight, but a cumulative effect of a strenuous workout over the weekend in Atlanta. The bone scan required a dye injection and a full day of tests. "This type of problem, it's more the day after than the day of," said Conte. "We're trying to find the source of the pain."
Torre not ready to lay down
LOS ANGELES -- Manager Joe Torre said that based on conversations he's had with general manager Ned Colletti, the Dodgers are still buyers, despite entering play Thursday night 12 games out of first place and eight games back in the Wild Card."We're not talking that way now," Torre said when asked if the Dodgers had become sellers. "We're both feeling the squeeze; we're starting to run out of games. But we haven't talked about going overboard, or jumping ship, I should say." The latest blow the Dodgers suffered was a neck injury to Opening Day starting pitcher Vicente Padilla, who was placed on the disabled list. "It's a blow," said Torre. "Ned's looking, not only for pitching, but other areas. He's still trying to plug holes and shore up areas." Earlier this week, the Dodgers lost another option when veteran starter Claudio Vargas, who had been pitching for Triple-A Albuquerque, left the club and was placed on the restricted list for personal reasons. He joins Scott Elbert, who left Albuquerque on June 10 for personal reasons, was put on the DL and hasn't pitched for the team since.
Torre's thoughts are with Clemens
LOS ANGELES -- Joe Torre, who managed Roger Clemens in New York, said he felt "sadness" learning that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner had been indicated for making false statements to Congress, obstruction of justice and perjury while denying his use of performance enhancing drugs."It's sad," said Torre. Torre said he never heard whispers of Clemens and steroid use. "The only echoes you heard was that he couldn't win the big game, and after he won the World Series game for us, he didn't have to prove anything to me," Torre said. "This [Thursday's charges] is not about what he did, it's what he said," Torre said. "Perjury is a very serious thing to be indicted for. My prayers are with him." Torre said he saw Clemens when the Dodgers played the Red Sox in Boston and joked about inserting the right-hander into the Dodgers' starting rotation. "The only thing he said is that once everybody knew everything, he'd come out all right," Torre said. "I never interrogated him and didn't want to know. I'm more concerned about him and his well being, as I was with [Andy] Pettitte. "This is something baseball has to go through, has gone through. It's easy to sit and criticize and I'm not saying it's without merit. But when it involves people you know personally, it has a different perspective on it. Not that you condone it."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.