Manny, Furcal to be reevaluated Tuesday
Veteran slugger likely to begin rehab assignment this week
ATLANTA -- We can see what the absence of Manny Ramirez has done to the Dodgers' offense. Here's what it does to opposing pitchers preparing to face the Dodgers' offense.
"As a pitcher, when you get their lineup and you see that a guy like Manny isn't in there, I don't care who is coming off the bench, you're feeling better about getting them out than Manny, regardless of how Manny has been playing," said Braves righty Tim Hudson, who pitched eight scoreless innings against the Dodgers on Friday night.
"Even those kinds of players that may not be having the kind of year you expect them to have year in and year out, you know at any moment they're capable of hurting you. I'm not taking anything away from guys coming off the bench, but they're coming off the bench for a reason.
"I don't care what you say, when those guys [like Ramirez] are at the plate, the umpires are going to give them the benefit of the doubt on close calls for the most part. As opposed to if a young guy is coming off the bench, a veteran pitcher will probably get the call. Those guys, even when they're not hitting, they're drawing their walks, they're working the count and you're still pitching them very carefully and tough."
Which is why the Dodgers were more interested in getting Ramirez back into their lineup at last month's Trade Deadline than to dump him. A player cannot be traded between now and Aug. 31 unless he clears waivers, and that can't happen while a player is disabled.
Out for almost all of the last six weeks with right hamstring and calf problems, Ramirez will be reevaluated by the Dodgers' medical department Tuesday and is likely to start a Minor League rehab assignment this week, as will shortstop Rafael Furcal, who has been disabled with a stiff back.
"If Raffy can do everything around the bag that a shortstop does, I don't think hitting will be an issue," said manager Joe Torre, indicating that Furcal's rehab assignment is likely to be shorter than Ramirez's.
"Manny will DH, play the outfield and at some point be ready to go. He'll have to tell us, he's been away such a long time. He can go to wherever he can get the work done, he'll have to get around to this level. The more activity is more important than where it is."
Torre said Ramirez's absence when suspended last year initially was a psychological blow that his teammates overcame when they realized they could win without him.
"Maybe physically, without him in the lineup, they're not getting pitched to as much," he said. "Emotionally, we got over that last year. He's such a force, a presence. I know he doesn't hit home runs, but he's still a threat, still has the ability to knock in runs. He can scare opposing managers. If I was over there, I'd be scratching my head."
Day after rough outing, Padilla OK
ATLANTA -- Vicente Padilla reported no physical problems the day after his Sunday shellacking by the Braves.
In particular, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said there was no sign of any problems with Padilla's radial nerve that put him on the disabled list for two months.
"His arm is fine," said Torre.
In his two most recent starts, Padilla allowed four runs in five innings in Philadelphia and eight runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Braves. Three starts back, he shut out the Padres.
"He's just had a couple flat spots," Torre said. "His location has been so good, that when he doesn't hit it, bad things happen. He'll still be out there four days from now. I still have confidence in him.
"He's doing all his work. He seems to be in a good frame of mind. He wasn't happy about [Sunday], but he doesn't hide from his responsibilities. I like that in him and the other guys do the same thing."
Club reaches agreement with Pederson
ATLANTA -- The Dodgers reached agreement with 11th-round pick Joc Pederson on Monday for a significant bonus of $600,000, pending the passing of a physical exam.
Monday was the deadline to sign all picks from this year's First-Year Player Draft.
Pederson, a center fielder from Palo Alto (Calif.) High School and son of former Dodger Stu Pederson, had the leverage of a scholarship commitment to the University of Southern California.
His bonus is higher than the $464,000 the Dodgers gave second-round pick Ralston Cash, a right-handed high school pitcher from Georgia.
The Dodgers also signed their 21st-round pick, Noel Cuevas, a center fielder from Inter American University in Puerto Rico.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.