04/30/10 10:16 PM ET
Seeking spark, Torre slots Paul at leadoff
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
Trying to shake up a lineup that's missing its leadoff man in Rafael Furcal and cleanup hitter in Manny Ramirez, manager Joe Torre turned to Xavier Paul to lead off Friday and play left field. Paul is 2-for-11 since he was called up on April 23.
"With Furcal out of there, you're just trying to find somebody that can give you a little speed," Torre said. "Russell [Marin], with the on-base percentage, we're batting him second. We're just trying to find somebody at the top that maybe will give us a little spark."
The Dodgers have been shut out four times this month, the first time that has happened since 2008. The last time the Dodgers, six games out of first place at 8-14, trailed by at least that many games was also in April 2008.
Manny, Weaver should be set after DL stint
LOS ANGELES -- Jeff Weaver and Manny Ramirez are both expected to be able to play when their time on the 15-day disabled list is up, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Friday.
Weaver, put on the DL with a right lower back strain on April 22, is set to throw about 40 to 45 pitches in three innings of a simulated game Saturday. If that goes well, his next step would be a rehab start.
Ramirez went on the disabled list a day after Weaver with with a right calf strain. He likely would play in two or three rehab games, but Torre has his reservations.
"I still question how much he's going to get out of rehab, every place he goes is a circus," Torre said. "But first thing, we want to make sure he's physically sound."
Shortstop Rafael Furcal, out since Tuesday with a left hamstring injury, was not available to pinch-hit Friday. Torre expects him to miss the rest of the weekend series with the Pirates and rest on Monday's off-day, targeting a three-game series with the Brewers beginning Tuesday for his return.
Furcal had a platelet rich plasma injection into the hamstring on Thursday.
Kemp understands reaction from fans
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp was booed for his defense Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, on the same field he received his first Gold Glove earlier this month.
He misplayed a two-out line drive into center that went for a two-run triple in the Dodgers' 2-0 loss to the Pirates.
"The fans, they're not happy with the fact that we're losing," he said. "I thought they were a lot more supportive than they needed to be last night."
But when he came up to hit they cheered him.
"These fans are very fair, but they want to come out and see us win and we haven't been doing that," Kemp said. "To me it's a matter of winning a game or two and all of a sudden it's a different frame of mind or a different feel within the body."
Dodgers get to work on defense
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' 21 errors, tied for most in the National League, were not the sole reason the team practiced its throws from the outfield Friday afternoon.
After a team meeting with select players this week in New York, though, Torre said this was the first time he had alerted the team to fielding practice ahead of time.
"We have done his over the last couple years," Torre said. "This is something we talked about, to get out here do a fundamental each series."
Viva Los Dodgers Day on Sunday
LOS ANGELES -- The season-long celebration of Hispanic culture in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium continues Sunday with another "Viva Los Dodgers Day," presented every Sunday the Dodgers are home.
Wesley y Sergio and Andrea Andrea are performing Sunday, with festivities kicking off two hours prior to the 1:10 p.m. PT game against the Pirates. The family-friendly celebration and beer garden are presented by Miller Lite and will be held in Lot 6.
Fans must hold a ticket for Sunday's game to take part. Tickets can be purchased at dodgers.com, losdodgers.com, at an advance ticket window at Dodger Stadium or by calling 866-DODGERS.
Torre keeps tabs on Uecker's health
LOS ANGELES -- Joe Torre heard from the son of Brewers radio broadcaster Bob Uecker that the broadcaster had successful heart surgery Friday.
Torre and Uecker are longtime friends.
"He called me when were in New York to tell me what was going to happen, but a big reason why he called me was to set up golf with [Brewers manager] Ken Macha," Torre said. "He's going into surgery in three days and he's worried about Ken Macha being able to play golf. He's been a special friend for a long time."
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.