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06/28/09 4:10 PM ET
Dodgers eager to see Manny in field
Suspended slugger to see action in outfield Sunday
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Sunday that he's "curious" to see how Manny Ramirez responds both physically and mentally when he returns to the club on July 3. Torre said it's difficult to predict how Ramirez will play when he returns because of both the 50-game layoff and the fact that Ramirez is still embarrassed by his suspension. "I'm certainly curious to find at what time he'll start settling in," Torre said. "The only thing you can do is to go out and play. I think it's going to take some time for him to get ready to play every day, which he's not used to right now." But Torre said he was pleased by Ramirez's performance on Saturday when he homered, walked and singled in a rehab game with Class A Inland Empire. Torre, however, wants to see Ramirez in left field when Inland Empire hosts Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernandino at 6:05 PT on Sunday. Ramirez was the club's designated hitter on Saturday. "I would like to see him out there for six or seven innings [Sunday]," Torre said. "But everything seems fine. He's in a good frame of mind, but I still think it's going to be an anxious time for him." Ramirez is scheduled to return to the club on July 3 when the Dodgers play in San Diego in the first game of a nine-game road trip before the All-Star break. Ramirez won't be available to play at Dodger Stadium until July 16, when the Dodgers host the Astros. But Torre said he's fine with Ramirez rejoining the team on the road even though it might have made for an easier transition if the team played at home when he returned. "That would've been nice, but again, you would still wonder about that first road trip," Torre said. "But now we hopefully can get it all out of the way."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.