Hamstring to keep Manny Ramirez out of games for a week
Once bitten, twice shy.
Manny Ramirez will be kept out of the Dodgers’ spring-training games for at least a week as the slugger nurses a sore left hamstring that he aggravated while playing, Manager Joe Torre said Monday.
“We’re just going to lay low for a while to get rid of this,” Torre said before the Dodgers lost a split-squad Cactus League game to the Oakland Athletics, 10-8, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Torre also said it was unlikely that Jason Schmidt, who has been trying to come back from shoulder problems that included two surgeries in the last two years, would be the team’s fifth starting pitcher by opening day.
“I’d say at this juncture there’s no way we can, in fairness to him, count on him for that right now,” Torre said of the veteran right-hander, noting, “the fact that we’re in that period of less than three weeks from opening day.”
His comments came shortly before Schmidt, 36, pitched two scoreless innings against Oakland in his second start of spring training and left with a 4-0 lead.
Oakland scored nine times in the third inning against Jeff Weaver, Stephen Randolph and Shawn Estes to seemingly put the game out of reach, but the Dodgers made it close with four runs in the ninth.
The other Dodgers squad lost, 4-3, to the Seattle Mariners in Peoria, Ariz.
Ramirez, late to spring training after recently signing a two-year, $45-million contract, first noticed tightness in the hamstring in running drills Thursday.
After reaching base three times in his spring debut as the Dodgers’ designated hitter Friday, Ramirez sat out Saturday’s game. Then he aggravated the injury Sunday while playing left field and retrieving a double in a game against the Colorado Rockies.
“Last time we DH’d [Ramirez] and he felt good so we put him in the lineup,” Torre said. This time, he said, “we’re just going to keep him out. We’re going to attack it with rest.”
“I can’t give you a time” for how long Ramirez will be out of the lineup “but it’s certainly going to be through the weekend and probably beyond that,” Torre said.
Ramirez, who took some swings in a batting cage Monday and was expected to continue his normal morning practices, “was frustrated” at being sidelined, Torre said.
“He’s always in a good frame of mind pretty much, but he certainly doesn’t like the inactivity,” Torre said.
Ramirez, 36, still has enough practice time to be ready for the season opener, Torre said, adding that Ramirez should be ready “if he gets a week or so of at-bats. Hopefully, it’s more than that.
“The thing we’re certainly not going to attempt to do is take a chance with this and then, once you start playing, it never goes away.”
As for Schmidt, his work during the spring “is all about some time down the road getting him back, but at this point I have no idea when that is,” Torre said.
“After what he’s been through, with the surgeries and the whole thing, I think we can just look at it as a continuing rehab.”
Matt Kemp and Brad Ausmus each had two hits in Monday’s loss to the A’s, with Kemp hitting a double. . . . Hiroki Kuroda pitched 3 1/3 innings against Seattle and gave up seven hits and two runs, one earned. . . . Hitting coach Don Mattingly led the squad that played Seattle, and Torre said “I feel very strongly that [Mattingly] certainly is capable of managing” in the big leagues. . . . Left-hander Randy Wolf is scheduled to start today against Carlos Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch.