LOS ANGELES -- Manny Ramirez could be at Dodger Stadium as early as Tuesday as he nears a rehab stint, while Reed Johnson was at the park Monday after his first rehab appearance for Class A Inland Empire.Either one could be a boost for an offense that was shut out for the 11th time this season on Sunday, but Ramirez in particular could alleviate some pressure. "Manny would be a big get once he gets healthy," manager Joe Torre said. "The more weapons we have, the more of a threat and the tougher it is for the opposition to go through our lineup. Certainly Manny is a huge part of that." Torre said it was possible Ramirez could begin a rehab assignment in seven to 10 days. Ramirez has been out since July 17 with his second strained calf muscle, his third trip to the disabled list this year. He's been working out at the club's Camelback Ranch-Glendale complex in Arizona. The park will look a little different when he returns, as the Mannywood sign on the left-field wall was removed for a John Hancock advertisement before the start of Monday's series. When asked for a reason, a team official said the space was available for sale all season.
Johnson went 1-for-3 with a double as the DH for Inland Empire on Sunday and will return Tuesday for five at-bats as the DH. Johnson took work in the Dodger Stadium outfield on Monday. He is on the DL retroactive to July 9 with a lumbar strain.
Slumping Dodgers hold team meeting
LOS ANGELES -- The sputtering Dodgers held a closed-door meeting on Monday afternoon, an attempt to rally and remedy a team that dropped five of six to the Giants and Padres in the last week."We're not very good right now," manager Joe Torre said. "It's really not important what other people think, it's what we think and what we do out there. We certainly have to get it together." The Dodgers scored just 1.8 runs per game on their six-game road skid and play 34 of their final 57 games against National League West opponents. They started Monday in fourth place, one game behind the Rockies, 6 1/2 behind the Giants and eight back of the Padres. Torre called for urgency going forward, but said the meeting wasn't because he was unhappy. "This had nothing to do with being unhappy, OK," said Torre, who did most of the speaking during the meeting. "But you can let people know you're unhappy without screaming at them. You know what I mean? "They're certainly understanding what has to be done. I don't think there's any pointing at anybody or any blame. As I said, we're not functioning very well."
Ethier returns after birth of child
LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier was back in the Dodgers' lineup on Monday after missing two games because of the birth of his child. His spot in the order, though, wasn't his usual No. 3 spot, but sixth.Ethier entered Monday without a multihit game since July 15 and has seen his average fall 32 points since the same day, from .326 to .294. Manager Joe Torre said the drop in the batting order was because left-hander Clayton Richard was pitching for the Padres, but Torre acknowledged Ethier has been pressing. "He been out of it for a couple days, just trying to get him out of the spotlight a little bit," Torre said. "He beats himself up probably more than a lot of players I've had." Ethier accepted congratulations from reporters about the birth of his second child, a boy, but declined to discuss any details, like his name. "I'm taking the [Ronald] Belisario route," Ethier said, referring to the reliever being on the restricted list since July 7. "If he doesn't have to share anything personal, why do I?"
Theriot takes on everyday role at second
LOS ANGELES -- Ryan Theriot got the start at second base for the Dodgers on Monday against southpaw Clayton Richard, signaling the end of Jamey Carroll's time in a platoon role.Theriot is hitting just as well against right-handers (.278) as he is left-handers (.282), similar splits to Carroll, who, along with Ronnie Belliard, was spelling the left-handed-hitting Blake DeWitt when a southpaw was on the mound. "He's my regular second baseman," manager Joe Torre said of Theriot. "I'm not saying that Jamey's not going to play second. Jamey's going to be valuable. To me, they're like bookends, have a lot of similarities. Maybe Theriot has a little more power than Jamey, but they're two kids who can do a lot of things." DeWitt was traded in a deal that landed Theriot and pitcher Ted Lilly from the Cubs.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.