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Manny Ramirez Is in the Lineup

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Manny Ramirez failing to catch a Brandon Inge double in the fourth inning on May 21 against the Detroit Tigers. AP Photo/Lori Shepler
As hinted at here yesterday, Manny Ramirez will make his return tonight against the Cincinnati Reds in left field.

“Talking to Manny, he said I’m ready to go now,” manager Joe Torre said. “The only way we’re going to find out is to just send him out there and see what we see.

“I’m certainly not going to find anything out if you keep him on the bench as a pinch hitter. Tomorrow he’ll be a pinch hitter.”

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Ramirez will play at least six innings under the watchful eye of Torre, and will be on the bench in Sunday’s afternoon game as is the modus operandi.

Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte is confident that this will not be a repeat of July 16 in St. Louis where a day after Ramirez came back from his right hamstring pull he pulled out during the first inning with this right calf strain. Conte went out to the Dodgers training facility in Glendale, Arizona while Ramirez was rehabbing his calf and put him through some rigorous tests.

“We really run him really really hard,” Conte said. “We really got him at a high intensity.

“I really wanted to find out if he was going to have anything while he ran. We timed him on the bases. We made him run hard. He had no problems, he had no soreness and was able to play in San Bernardino the next day. He’s played in three days with absolutely no problems.”

With Ramirez missing a total of 58 games this season, Torre is unsure of what to expect.

“We’re all just going to watch and see. Am I expecting him to be sharp? Not necessarily.”

To make room for Ramirez on the roster, the Dodgers designated infielder Juan Castro for assignment.

Rafael Furcal Update. Shortstop Rafael Furcal, ailing with a low back strain, had another MRI done this morning which showed no changes from his initial MRI a couple of weeks ago. Furcal had a cortisone and bupivacaine (pain-killer) shot early this morning according to Conte and is recuperating at home. He will be heading to the Dodgers training facility in Glendale, AZ while the Dodgers are on their road trip.

Jeff Weaver Update. Right-handed reliever Jeff Weaver will have another bullpen session tomorrow and make two tentative rehab appearances with Class-A Inland Empire on Tuesday and Friday or Saturday. Tuesday’s appearance will be for only one inning while the Friday or Saturday appearance will be for two innings. It’s all tentative based on the state of the bullpen on the road trip. If the Dodgers need, Torre said he wouldn’t me averse to bringing Weaver up in a bind.

Lineups

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Cincinnati Reds

  1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  2. Drew Stubbs, CF
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Scott Rolen, 3B
  5. Jonny Gomes, LF
  6. Jay Bruce, RF
  7. Ramon Hernandez, C
  8. Paul Janish, SS
  9. Johnny Cueto, P

LA Dodgers

  1. Ryan Theriot, 2B
  2. Andre Ethier, RF
  3. Manny Ramirez, LF
  4. Jay Gibbons, 1B
  5. Matt Kemp, CF
  6. Casey Blake, 3B
  7. Jamey Carroll, SS
  8. Brad Ausmus, C
  9. Chad Billingsley, P