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Dodgers' medical update: No DL planned for Manny Ramirez or Russell Martin

July 17, 2010 | 12:59 pm
And on the day after, mostly good news?

Joe Torre told the media in St. Louis before Saturday’s game against the Cardinals that Manny Ramirez, who left Friday’s game in the first inning with right calf tightness, was available to pinch hit and should return to the field early next week.

That means the Dodgers think the injury isn’t as severe as his two previous right leg injuries that landed him on the disabled list. That’s the mostly good news part.

The other part, however, is that Torre cautioned that the 38-year-old Ramirez will be watched carefully the rest of the season. Torre was already resting him during day games.

How big can the kid gloves get with Ramirez?

He may not be the power slugger he was when coming to the Dodgers in 2008, but he is still a highly productive hitter when healthy (.317, eight homers, 39 RBI in 186 at-bats). And the Dodgers are clearly a better offensive team when he’s on. I said offensively.

"I think we have to keep an eye on Manny for the rest of the year," Torre said.

Torre said three muscles make up the calf, and this is not the same muscle that sidelined him previously.

Still, Manny’s looking alarmingly fragile. He’s become increasingly difficult to count upon. And you can only baby him so much.

Torre said the Dodgers will also play the next two games without catcher Russell Martin, who finally got around to admitting he injured his thumb at the beginning of the month in Phoenix.

I’m sorry, but this concealing injuries thing is not some great sign of manhood. That’s why teams have an army of trainers and physical therapists, to help deal with these things.

A.J. Ellis is starting for Martin, and Xavier Paul for Ramirez against the Cardinals. Torre said neither injured player is currently a candidate for the DL.

-- Steve Dilbeck