03/15/09 8:17 PM ET
Manny leaves game with leg injury
Dodgers slugger to take it 'day by day' after first game in outfield
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Ramirez, playing his first game of the spring in the outfield, said he felt tightness while running into the left-field corner trying to cut off a double by Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki in the top of the fourth inning. Ramirez was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning.
Earlier in the game, Ramirez grounded out in his only at-bat, running easily to first base. He also ran gingerly after a sinking fly ball by Joe Koshansky that fell at his feet. Ramirez said his leg felt fine on both of those plays.
On Thursday, Ramirez was scratched from the starting lineup when he felt his hamstring tighten during baserunning drills. Ramirez played in his first game Friday as designated hitter, walking twice with a single and a run scored.
He reported to training camp 2 1/2 weeks after the rest of the club, agreeing to a new $45 million, two-year contract 10 days ago.
"Age is catching up to me," said Ramirez, who turns 37 in May. "Maybe it's a bad investment. I just have to be patient, that's what I've got to do. Only God knows what's best for me. I have to just try to get healthy."
Ramirez said he has been arriving at the club's new Camelback Ranch-Glendale facility around sunrise every day for extra drills as he tries to catch up to his teammates in conditioning. He said Sunday morning he took an optional yoga class in hopes of increasing his flexibility.
"Now I have to take it day by day," he said. "Today in practice, I felt real good, I didn't feel anything. I'll come early tomorrow and test it again."
Manager Joe Torre said trainers believe Ramirez's tightness is in the tendon that attaches the thick muscle in the back of the thigh to the lower leg below the knee.
"Manny was a little concerned, that's why he told us," said Torre. "At this time, there's no plan to do any testing. If it's not better in the next couple of days, we probably will. It's not in the belly of the muscle where pulls are."
Torre said Ramirez is scratched from playing in the split-squad road game against Seattle on Monday as was previously planned. Torre said it was too early to envision Ramirez not being ready in three weeks when the regular season starts.
"We have plenty of time to get plenty of at-bats," Torre said. "If this thing doesn't improve in the next few days, I was told by Stan [Conte, trainer] we'll do some testing. Manny did yoga today, did the whole routine. Obviously, he wouldn't have played the outfield if there was any concern."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.