LOS ANGELES -- With a lineup that's found scoring runs to be "like pulling teeth," in the words of manager Joe Torre, a Saturday return for Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez would be more than welcome. And it could happen.Ramirez went 0-for-2 and fulfilled a six-inning quota in left field with Class A Inland Empire Friday night, potentially his last rehab appearance before being activated. "We'll see how he feels," Torre said. "And then we'll make a decision. It's possible." Ramirez, out with a strained right calf, is 1-for-6 with five strikeouts and two walks through three games in San Bernardino. He was pinch-hit for with one out and one on in the bottom of the sixth on Friday. Torre said in the afternoon that six innings was the length he wanted Ramirez to play the field, but it's unknown why Ramirez did not take his third at-bat in the bottom of the inning. Torre and trainer Stan Conte spoke to Ramirez on Friday, and both reported that Ramirez said his calf was feeling great. The Dodgers have an off-day on Monday, and the roster move necessary to make room for Ramirez isn't a no-brainer, which might push Ramirez's return to Tuesday in Milwaukee. "He said he felt good, and I just told him that we need to have a little more of a read on being able to handle the outfield stuff," Torre said. "We have to make a move and that move's not going to be easy to make." Inland Empire begins a three-game road trip on Saturday to Bakersfield, Calif., which wouldn't take Ramirez far, but that may be a consideration as well.
Setback has Furcal frustrated
LOS ANGELES -- Rafael Furcal came so close to a rehab assignment at the start of the week before a setback, and the Dodgers shortstop has been disappointed, frustrated, and everything in between since. He didn't see any improvement on Friday."I'm doing everything right. I'm doing what they say, I'm working hard, and I still can't do anything," said Furcal, who's taking treatment but not participating in baseball activities at the moment. "It's a little worse than yesterday." Furcal's been on the disabled list with a lower back strain since Aug. 3.The injury is particularly worrisome for Furcal, who had disk surgery in 2008, and manager Joe Torre sees the weight Furcal is carrying. "He's not in very good spirits," Torre said. "He's not angry, he's just down." "I feel so stupid right now," Furcal said. "It's unbelievable. I don't know what more I can do. I didn't do anything crazy and now this."
Kemp to lose time to Podsednik
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp and Scott Podsednik could end up sharing time when Manny Ramirez returns, with Kemp getting the majority of the looks.Manager Joe Torre said Friday that he would like to keep Scott Podsednik's speed at the top of the lineup, but that Kemp would still the majority of the time -- despite his struggles. Torre said he'd look at the matchups to determine his lineup day to day. "Keeping Scott in the lineup means Matt's not playing, and I certainly don't want that," Torre said. "He's got too much there that we need to have come out. Now, Scott will probably play some center field, Manny probably won't play every day, at least at the start. But we'll have to do the best we can." Torre said Jamey Carroll might leadoff when Podsednik is out of the lineup. Torre said he twice talked to Kemp on Thursday, a day in which Kemp went 0-for-4 despite hitting three balls sharply. Torre said the nature conversations were private, but he once again discussed Kemp's struggle to find the right mindset. Kemp took early batting practice with hitting coach Don Mattingly for a second day on a row on Friday, working on his posture. "He's fighting himself, fighting it and not feeling very good about himself," Torre said.
Weaver may return this weekend
LOS ANGELES -- Jeff Weaver could return from the disabled list and left knee tendinitis as soon as the weekend, depending on how Carlos Monasterios performs on Friday.Weaver threw a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Friday. He has not yet made any rehab appearances, but because his injury was not to his arm, he could return without a Minor League outing if need be. And the Dodgers may well need him. Vicente Padilla's trip to the disabled list because of a bulging disk in his neck was made official on Friday and right-hander Travis Schlichting was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. Monasterios started in Padilla's place on Friday to open a three-game series with the Reds at Dodger Stadium. With the Dodgers essentially down a reliever, they could need backup in the bullpen for the weekend if Monasterios' start is short and they burn through relievers Friday. "We're sort of holding [Weaver] right now," manager Joe Torre said. "I think we could possibly activate him, I think a lot of it depends tonight's game on how much we need, and how long Monasterios pitches and how much bullpen we have to use and stuff." Schlichting, who worked on a slider recently, will take over Monasterios' role as the long man in the bullpen.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.