Manny to wrap Minors stint on Tuesday

Manny to wrap Minors stint on Tuesday

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Monday that suspended slugger Manny Ramirez will play in his final Minor League tuneup Tuesday morning with Class A Inland Empire.

Some media reports stated Ramirez would play in his last rehab game Monday night because Tuesday's game against Rancho Cucamonga is scheduled for 11 a.m. PT, but Torre dispelled that rumor before the Dodgers played the Rockies.

"His plan right now is to DH [Tuesday]," Torre said. "You'd rather not have three days off. But again, whatever it is, I think he's going to get in his game shape when he plays Friday."

Torre also reiterated that it will take some time before Ramirez is back in game shape and that it will begin once he plays in his first game back with the Dodgers on Friday in San Diego.

"It's going to be like Spring Training," Torre said. "You can go to the gym and do what you need to do, but when you play, you use muscles you're not used to. So I think he'll just have to get into the best shape by playing."

Ramirez is still working out the kinks in the Minors as he went 0-for-2 on Sunday with Inland Empire, striking out two times and walking once. Entering Tuesday, Ramirez has two hits, one home run, in seven at-bats in two games with Triple-A Albuquerque and two games with Inland Empire.

But Torre is hopeful that Ramirez will be able to inject some life into a Dodgers offense that has been struggling recently.

"Hopefully, Manny will give us a more consistent offense," Torre said. "We've been lucky to win a lot of close games. We've made the most out of the runs we've scored. But I think the presence he brings to the lineup is a security blanket for the rest of the guys."

Ramirez's return to left field with the Dodgers means that Juan Pierre will be relegated to the bench, but Torre had nothing but positive things to say about Pierre, who is batting .323 this season.

"He was certainly able to seize the opportunity, and for one reason, in my opinion," Torre said. "Whether he's playing or not, he's always been ready, and I think he's proved that. And I think this year, his offense has been better because he's been driving the ball. All I can say is that our bench gets deeper."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.