Ramirez talks Torre out of rest
Dodgers manager scraps plan to give slugger Thursday off
PITTSBURGH -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre made a couple more lineup changes for Wednesday night's game with the Pirates and scrapped another one he planned for Thursday's getaway day game.
"I mentioned a day off to Manny [Ramirez] and he said he doesn't need a day off and that was the end of that conversation," said Torre, who earlier said he hoped to give Thursday's game off for Ramirez, who hasn't missed a game since his July 31 acquisition. "We'll keep playing him, and if we continue to win, we'll deal with it later."
Ramirez, a free agent after this season, confirmed he doesn't need a rest.
"I'm Cal Ripken," he said.
As for Wednesday night's game, with Pittsburgh starting left-hander Zach Duke, Torre countered by sitting left-handed hitters James Loney and Blake DeWitt. He started Nomar Garciaparra at first base and Pablo Ozuna at second, acknowledging that the Ozuna substitution was with an eye on the postseason.
"If we continue to the postseason, we need to see what options we have," Torre said. "As long as it's double-edged with the lefty pitching, there's reason to take DeWitt out."
Torre said injured shortstop Rafael Furcal came out of his aggressive Tuesday workout with no new problems, but Furcal said he continues to be nagged by lingering discomfort in his hamstring that might be nerve-related after his back surgery. Furcal said the discomfort limits his baserunning and defensive range, two key elements of his game.
Reliever Hong-Chih Kuo remains shut down after developing more left triceps muscle tendinitis Sunday. He will resume only playing catch Thursday and his availability for the final 11 games and beyond is in question.
"It is what it is," Torre said. "Unfortunately, we have to monitor him. When he's ready to go, we'll have to warm him up one time and bring him in. He's gotten a lot of work this year. We were aware of his past history [four elbow operations]. I'm told over the course of the season it would catch up with him."
Brad Penny, needing to rebuild arm strength, threw a full bullpen session.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.