Torre expects Dodgers to be active

Torre expects Dodgers to be active

DENVER -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre has indicated a level of expectation that general manager Ned Colletti will make an acquisition by the July 31 Trade Deadline.

"Ned has some irons in the fire," Torre said.

Colletti, who initially said he was looking for a shortstop to replace the injured Rafael Furcal, has said he's expanded his search to include third basemen.

Among the ones rumored to be available are Cleveland's Casey Blake and Seattle's Adrian Beltre, which creates the appearance of a showcase performance for Andy LaRoche, who Torre said would start Monday night and possibly all three games of the Rockies series.

It is safe to assume that if the Dodgers are able to acquire a veteran third baseman, it would cost a young third baseman like LaRoche in return. Of course, with Blake DeWitt in a seven-week offensive freefall (batting .195 since May 31), LaRoche also becomes an option to win the starting job.

"It's really been unfair to him to be playing off the bench," said Torre, hinting that LaRoche needs to play regularly somewhere. "Knowing the end of July is looming, we need to find out as much as we can about players."

Torre gave shortstop Nomar Garciaparra the game off and said he might not start Tuesday night either. Garciaparra, his bat rejuvenated after returning from the disabled list on July 4, still has a brittle body to contend with.

Torre said they had a conversation on the flight from Arizona after Garciaparra keyed the stunning five-run ninth-inning rally on Sunday. He's hitting .333 in 14 games since returning with three homers and four doubles. Angel Berroa started at shortstop.

"Nomar's just shut down today and we'll take it a day at a time," said Torre. "He just has some aches, nothing consistent with his past problems this year [pulled calf muscle]. He's played a lot more than we anticipated. We took liberties with a lot of guys the first series [after the All-Star break]. I hope to make up for it here and give Russell [Martin] a day off Wednesday to go with the off-day Thursday."

Torre indicated that disabled pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney would remain on the unofficial taxi squad until other roster moves are determined.

Juan Pierre's rapid recovery from a torn knee ligament suffered June 29 could have him on a Minor League rehab assignment in a matter of days. He originally was expected to miss four-to-six weeks.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.