Pierre is a quick healer

Times Staff Writer

Three weeks and five days removed from spraining a ligament in his left knee, Juan Pierre was activated from the 15-day disabled list and hitting leadoff for the Dodgers.

Pierre, who was three for six in two games of a rehab assignment with triple-A Las Vegas over the last two days, didn’t get to the Dodger Stadium clubhouse until about an hour and a half before the first pitch. He wouldn’t talk about his return, saying, “I’m in beast mode right now.”

Delwyn Young was put on the disabled list because of a strained right oblique muscle that he claimed he suffered on the first pitch of his pinch-hit at-bat Wednesday in Colorado.


Pierre’s return pushed Andre Ethier to the bench and Manager Joe Torre sounded irritated when asked why sub-.200 hitting Andruw Jones remained in the lineup.

Trainer Stan Conte said that when Pierre was hurt, he expected him to be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Johnson in the rotation

Jason Johnson, who has given up two runs over seven innings in two appearances out of the bullpen, will take the open spot in the rotation Tuesday.

Johnson had trouble finding the clubhouse Friday, as he was at Dodger Stadium for the first time as a member of the home team. He was wandering around the eighth floor when he ran into Chan Ho Park, who led him to the elevator.

Next step for Penny

Instead of making a rehab start for Las Vegas, Brad Penny will throw a 50-pitch simulated game at Dodger Stadium so that he can be observed by pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Penny will have to throw at least once more after that, probably in the minors, before being activated.