Ramirez exits as leg tightens
Bat in hand, Manny Ramirez strolled into the Dodgers’ clubhouse before Sunday’s game, looked at the lineup card and saw he was listed to play his normal position of left field for the first time this spring.
“Left field?” he said, tongue firmly in his cheek. “Are we trying?” Then he walked away and joked, “We’ll get ‘em tomorrow.”
But not with Ramirez. He pulled out of Sunday’s game against the Colorado Rockies in the fourth inning after aggravating a sore hamstring in his left leg.
Ramirez also won’t play today but will work out as usual in the morning, Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said.
The problem resurfaced in the top of the fourth when Ramirez ran to retrieve a double hit down the left-field line by the Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki.
The hit was part of a barrage that lifted Colorado to a 9-5 win over the Dodgers before 11,175 at Camelback Ranch.
“When I was going to the line to cut off the ball, the double, I felt it a little bit,” said Ramirez, who will be 37 in May. “Maybe age is catching up on me,” he quipped.
Ramirez, the celebrated slugger who recently signed a new two-year, $45-million contract with the Dodgers, was supposed to have made his Cactus League debut Thursday but delayed it one day after feeling tightness in his left hamstring during running drills. When he finally played Friday as the Dodgers’ designated hitter, Ramirez walked twice and singled.
Torre then rested Ramirez on Saturday before starting him in left field Sunday. Ramirez had one at-bat against Colorado, grounding out, before his injury resurfaced.
“In his words, it tightened up, it didn’t feel like a pull or anything,” Torre said of Ramirez. “He’s a little concerned. That’s why he told us, which is the right thing to do.
“At this time we have no plans to do any testing on it. If it doesn’t get better in a couple of days, then we probably will.”
The Dodgers play their only split-squad games of the spring today on the road with half the club taking on the Seattle Mariners and the rest playing the Oakland A’s.
Ramirez had been scheduled to join the group playing Seattle.
When Ramirez was in left field Sunday, Rockies center fielder Ryan Spilborghs -- the second batter faced by Dodgers left-hander Eric Milton in the first inning -- launched a home run so deep to left field that Ramirez could only watch it sail over the fence.
Spilborghs’ homer was one of six consecutive Colorado hits that rocked Milton in the first inning and gave Colorado an early 4-0 lead.
Torre planned to travel today with the squad playing Oakland, partly to keep an eye on Jason Schmidt, the Dodgers pitcher attempting to come back from shoulder problems that have limited him to six regular-season starts in his two years with the team.
Schmidt, 36, was scheduled to make his second start of the spring and throw 45 to 50 pitches. Torre said he wanted Schmidt to make at least three Cactus League starts before making any decisions about whether the right-hander might be the fifth pitcher in the rotation.
Valentino Pascucci hit his second two-run home run in as many days in the Dodgers’ loss. . . . Hiroki Kuroda, who has been dominant this spring, is scheduled to start against Seattle today.