Dodgers explore options for waiver deals
Uncertainty about Manny's injury incentive to seek hitter
LOS ANGELES -- What timing.
With Adam Dunn's Washington Nationals in town for a three-game set, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Friday that general manager Ned Colletti has mentioned some names to him as the team looks to improve in an August waiver trade.
Dunn is one name the Dodgers are speculated to have claimed off waivers, but Torre and Colletti were not specific about any players the team is going after. Torre did offer reassurance that the Dodgers still think it is worth trying to improve, despite an eight-game deficit in the National League West.
"I think we're looking to help this club," Torre said. "We're not by any stretch of the imagination out of the hunt in our minds. We're going to continue to work toward making this ballclub better. There are a lot of question marks out there and one of the ones is Manny [Ramirez], as far as getting him back and when that's going to be."
Ramirez's progress from a calf injury seems to have stalled, and the Dodgers' lineup along with it. Los Angeles is hitting .218 since July 15, the second worst mark in the NL. Colletti said the uncertainty surrounding Ramirez gave him a little more incentive to go after a hitter, but he was non-committal.
A reporter asked Colletti first if he wanted a bat, then if he wanted a catcher. Colletti's response: "How about a catcher with a big bat?"
"We're looking at every area," he said. "You have a maze to walk through after July 31. A lot of different things have to transpire."
Colletti said he is good friends with Washington general manager Mike Rizzo, who was standing near the batting cage while Colletti was near the Dodgers dugout.
Colletti said the Dodgers will sometimes claim players to block other teams from acquiring them. Torre declined to say whether the names Colletti has brought him had already cleared waivers.
"I think Ned is constantly seeing if anything makes sense," Torre said. "He's mentioned some names, it's a little more of a limited situation now because it's the whole waiver period stuff. I'm not going to lock in on anything, names. Leave it at that."
Belisario, Furcal could return on Tuesday
LOS ANGELES -- There's a chance the Dodgers get both Ronald Belisario back along with Rafael Furcal on Tuesday. It's possible, even, that there's a better chance Belisario is ready before Furcal is.
Furcal played catch at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon. He hasn't seen game action since Monday because of a lower back strain.
Belisario, on the restricted list since July 7, is slated to make two rehab appearances for Class A Inland Empire on Saturday and Sunday. That could be the last preparation the Dodgers feel Belisario needs after he began working out at Dodger Stadium on July 26.
"He's good right now," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Belisario. "He's got a really good look about him and has got a really good frame of mind, all that stuff."
A holdup for Furcal could come if he isn't able to test out his back in the necessary situations over the next couple days. He did not take ground balls or swing on the field during batting practice on Friday.
"I'm hopeful he'll be ready for Tuesday," team trainer Stan Conte said. "We still have more baseball stuff to do, we only have two days to do it and I don't want to rush it and put him at any risk."
Physically, the Dodgers feel Belisario should be fine with a pair of one-inning appearances and then rest on Monday's off-day. Belisario threw 25 pitches off the Dodger Stadium mound on Thursday in front of reporters.
What could end up delaying Belisario is something related to the team-described personal matter, reportedly substance abuse, that landed him on the restricted list.
Belisario needs to receive approval from or be cleared by some entity to return -- be it Major League Baseball or otherwise. But what that entity is, Torre claims general manager Ned Colletti only knows, and Colletti has not said.
MRI scheduled on Manny's slow-healing calf
LOS ANGELES -- The speculation is that the Dodgers were the team that put in a claim for Washington slugger Adam Dunn and the reason was to block any of the Wild Card contenders ahead of them from getting him.
Of course, another legitimate reason would be the Dodgers' lack of offense without Manny Ramirez, who continues rehabbing from a very slow-healing calf muscle strain at the club's Camelback Ranch-Glendale complex in Arizona.
An MRI for Ramirez was rescheduled from Friday to Saturday, but whatever the results, the Dodgers seem resigned to the fact he won't be back anytime soon.
"He was in discomfort yesterday," said manager Joe Torre, who spoke to Ramirez by phone. "He's not getting worse. But it's something that's going to take a little time. They said it would be three, four, five weeks. It's a little over three weeks now. He's getting frustrated by it. I told him not to get down, it'll turn the corner at some point in time. But it hasn't gone away like he hoped."
As for Dunn, the Nationals could let him and the remaining $4 million on his contract go to the claiming team, or attempt to work a trade with that club. Washington has indicated it won't give him away. Chances that the Dodgers would spend $4 million plus prospects to get Dunn at this point are not considered strong. An Aug. 31 deal, if the Dodgers are still in the race, might make more sense.
Prognosis for Martin's hip is 'promising'
LOS ANGELES -- Packets of test results from Russell Martin's seriously injured right hip have been sent to three specialists, but from their preliminary input, the Dodgers are expecting the catcher will avoid surgery, at least initially.
The Dodgers are in consultation with Dr. Marc Philippon of Vail, Colo.; Dr. Thomas Byrd of Nashville, Tenn.; and Dr. Bryan Kelly of New York. While a definitive consensus won't be reached until all have reviewed MRI and CT scans, each has indicated to the club that Martin should wait three weeks to see if his broken hip is healing properly.
Martin also has a torn labrum from the injury he suffered Tuesday night, when he subluxed his right hip trying to score. He will be on crutches for a three-week healing period, after which another MRI and CT scan will evaluate his progress.
Because surgery requires a three-month rehab window, Martin could put off surgery until the end of the season and still have time to heal by Spring Training.
Trainer Stan Conte said the injury was suffered on a freak play, is considered unusual for baseball players and even the specialists have limited cases for comparison. Because of the requirement for catchers to squat, and the stress squatting puts on the hip, it's not clear what Martin faces long term.
"But right now, everybody feels the prognosis is very promising," Conte said.
Dodgers, Chattanooga extend affiliation
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers extended their player development contract with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts through the 2014 season. The agreement was announced by Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda prior to the Lookouts game Friday night.
"We are excited to continue our relationship with the Lookouts and extending the Dodgers' brand of baseball to Chattanooga and the Southeast," said De Jon Watson, the Dodgers' assistant general manager/director of player development.
This is the Dodgers' second year in Chattanooga after eight years in Jacksonville, Fla.
"We are pleased to continue our relationship with the Dodgers and proud of the trust the Dodgers have placed on us," Lookouts president and general manager Frank Burke said.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.