04/22/10 11:17 PM ET
Dodgers place Weaver on DL
By Jeff Wallner / Special to MLB.com
Prior to Thursday's series finale at Great American Ball Park, the Dodgers placed Weaver on the 15-day disabled list with a right lower back strain and reinstated left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo.
"They didn't want to push the issue this early in the season," Weaver said. "It just seemed logical [to go on the DL]. It's just a little joint compression. [Trainer] Stan [Conte] did some spinal maneuvers, ultrasound and applied heat today. It's tolerable."
Weaver suffered the injury while throwing a pitch to Ramon Hernandez in the eighth inning of Wednesday night's victory over the Reds.
"Weaver may not need the time," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. "I don't want him to think it's only going to be three days and rush back. We think this is the safest thing to do."
Weaver's disabling ends a long wait for Kuo, who's missed 14 games with a sore left elbow. Torre said Kuo will be eased back into the bullpen.
"He'll go every other day for the foreseeable future -- not going back-to-back at this point," said Torre. "I trust him. He's been champing at the bit to get back."
Manny leaves in sixth with right calf strain
CINCINNATI -- Manny Ramirez suffered a right calf strain in the sixth inning of Thursday night's game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park and could miss a minimum of two games.
"It wouldn't surprise me," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre when asked if Ramirez could miss this weekend's series at Washington.
Ramirez singled to center off Reds starter Mike Leake to begin the sixth, but appeared to begin favoring his right leg halfway up the line. He was escorted off the field moments later by Dodgers assistant athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk.
Reed Johnson pinch-ran for Ramirez and remained in the game in left field.
Ramirez returned to the Dodgers' lineup on Tuesday after missing two games with tightness in his right calf. Torre fears this latest injury could be worse.
"He tweaked it more than the last time," said Torre.
Ramirez would not comment on the injury when initially asked by reporters after the game.
Entering Thursday night's action, Ramirez ranked second in the National League with a .421 batting average. He collected two RBIs in Wednesday night's game to give him 1,800 for his career.
Furcal feels healthy, confident
CINCINNATI -- Rafael Furcal is healthy and confident that his back is fully healed. His results at the plate are indicative of that fact.
Furcal went 3-for-5 in Wednesday night's win over the Reds, falling a home run shy of the cycle. He's batting .356, with a .404 mark from the left side.
"It's good to feel 100 percent healthy," said Furcal, who missed the majority of the 2008 season with an injured lower back. "Last year was a tough year for me. I was still worried about my back. I feel good now."
Furcal had a single, double, triple and four RBIs in the Dodgers' 14-6 victory. He also recorded his seventh stolen base.
"My legs are feeling pretty good," he said. "I try to get on base however I can -- base hit, walk, or whatever. We have some pretty good hitters. If I can get on base, they'll see some better pitches. There are some good RBI guys behind me."
Dodgers manager Joe Torre likes what he's seen from the 32-year old shortstop.
"He's so much more confident at the plate and in the field," Torre said. "I like that he's hitting the ball to the opposite field left-handed. He's got a lot of life in his body."
Kemp leading by example
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre says not all of Matt Kemp's attributes are reflected in the statistics.
The 25-year-old outfielder is hitting .333 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs. But Torre likes what he sees from Kemp off the field as well.
"I was at the ballpark at about 1:30 [p.m. ET], and he was here in the weight room," said Torre prior to Thursday night's game. "He's in the weight room, the training room doing stuff. People need to understand how much he puts into it."
Kemp, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games on Wednesday, leads the Major Leagues with 20 RBIs and 19 runs scored. His seven homers are tied for the lead.
"Matt knows he's good," said Torre. "But he expects a lot of himself. I like the way he handles himself. I didn't think he would have this type of success this quickly."
The Dodgers announced on Thursday that right-hander Russ Ortiz, who was released by the team on Sunday, declined a Minor League assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque and elected free agency. ... Manny Ramirez, who entered Thursday night's game ranked second in the National League with a .421 average, now has 1,800 RBIs in his career, making him one of just 19 players in Major League history to achieve that total. ... The Dodgers have committed 16 errors this season, including two in Wednesday night's win. But Joe Torre remains confident that the trend won't continue. "I'm not really worried about it," Torre said. "I look at the ability of the guys making the errors and I expect it to change."
Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.