Furcal gets planned day off for Dodgers
Torre says recent struggles aren't factor in shortstop's rest
MIAMI -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal said he's frustrated with his play, and manager Joe Torre said he can see that frustration.
But Torre said Furcal's absence from the lineup for Sunday's game was scheduled and had nothing to do with his .167 batting average on this trip or his .233 average on the season or the sixth error he committed Saturday night that opened the door for two unearned runs to score in the Dodgers' 6-3 loss.
"He's getting frustrated, no question," Torre said. "You see the signs, when he swings so hard he jumps with both feet to hit the ball. The more he does that, advance scouting sees and they keep teasing you. He's best, like when the runner runs and he just hits the ball. He's just overanxious, that's the only way to describe it. Physically, he seems fine."
Torre said he didn't think Furcal was taking his offensive woes out on defense, although he added that Furcal normally would have turned the eighth-inning bad-hop grounder into a double play instead of booting it.
"He knows how important he is out there," Torre said of Furcal's defense. "We talk, discuss it. I check with him four or five times a week to make sure he's in a good place. We had a sit-down in Philadelphia. He looks you right in the eye. He says he feels good. Obviously, he's not doing as well as he'd like to. He'll be fine. It's coming. You know it's in there and it's going to come."
Torre said Furcal got Sunday off as part of the plan to preserve his health in response to the back surgery that sidelined him most of last season. He generally is getting off day games after night games.
On Sunday, Furcal wasn't alone, as regulars Casey Blake, Russell Martin and Andre Ethier also were rested. Torre emptied his bench, starting all four of his reserves -- Juan Castro at shortstop, Mark Loretta at third base, Brad Ausmus at catcher and Xavier Paul getting his first career start in right field.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.