He can hit, but he can’t run.
Seven days after he sprained a ligament in his right knee, Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra was placed on the 15-day disabled list. The decision was made after Garciaparra tested his ailing knee on the basepaths before Sunday’s game.
“Running straight ahead it’s not that bad,” Garciaparra said.
“It’s when goes to his left, he has trouble pivoting,” said Manager Grady Little.
Garciaparra says his swing is not impeded by the injury.
The move is retroactive to Tuesday, the day after he hurt his knee against the San Diego Padres.
The injury occurred in the 11th inning after Josh Barfield had blooped a fly ball into short center field, just beyond the reach of three Dodgers. As Barfield headed for second, Garciaparra trailed close behind, hoping to tag Barfield out. But the throw arrived in an awkward position for Garciaparra.
“I caught it behind me,” he said. “I spun around to put the tag on him and [Barfield’s] weight came down on me. Nothing dirty.”
Barfield was safe and now Garciaparra is out.
The Dodgers had to make a move to create a spot for new arrival Wilson Betemit, obtained Friday night in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. But this wasn’t the move they wanted to make.
Garciaparra missed 18 games at the start of the season because of a strain on his right side.
“I’m making progress, but I’m still at about 50%,” Garciaparra said of the knee injury. “I don’t want to wind up taking five steps backward.”
Another day of trying to acquire a power hitter ended in frustration for General Manager Ned Colletti, who refused to give up the premium young players teams sought.
Baseball sources said the Dodgers have come closest to getting Washington Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano.
The Nationals dropped their asking price, but it is still too much for the Dodgers.
The two teams are expected to talk again today before the 1 p.m. non-waiver trading deadline.
The Dodgers also have had serious discussions with the Chicago Cubs about pitcher Greg Maddux.
However, Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry is reluctant to trade the future Hall of Famer unless he gets a substantial package in return.
The Dodgers inquired about Baltimore Orioles infielder Miguel Tejada but never moved beyond preliminary discussions.
Colletti wouldn’t comment on specific players, saying, “Probably one deal still has some life to it and a second deal still has a touch of life.”
Times staff writer Steve Henson contributed to this report.