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DODGERS FYI

Nomar has knee sprain

July 29, 2008|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers' pursuit of a shortstop before Thursday's non-waiver trading deadline could intensify after an MRI exam Monday on Nomar Garciaparra's left knee revealed a minor sprain of his medial collateral ligament.

Similar injuries typically sideline players for about two weeks, meaning the shortstop could be headed for the disabled list for the third time this season.

However, Garciaparra said after Monday's game against San Francisco that he was optimistic he wouldn't miss much time. "Hopefully it will be pretty quick," he said.

Garciaparra is expected to rest the next few days, progressing to baseball activities as tolerated, according to a club spokesman.

He was injured Sunday when he covered third base on a double play and Washington's Lastings Milledge slid into him.

Angel Berroa replaced Garciaparra in the lineup Monday night.

No pressure from above

Manager Joe Torre said the decision to bench struggling outfielder Andruw Jones was his alone, without input from owner Frank McCourt or General Manager Ned Colletti.

"I've never been told who should play and who shouldn't play," Torre said. "I've been managing a long time, and that's never been something that I've had to deal with, which I'm happy about because I'm not sure how I would deal with it."

Jones is batting .169 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 189 at-bats -- including a pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth inning Monday -- and Torre said he would play the 31-year-old outfielder against selected left-handed pitchers in an effort to break him out of his season-long slump. Jones was not in the lineup Monday even though he was four for nine with three homers against Giants starter Kevin Correia.

Dodgers will pass

Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox and Mark Teixeira of the Atlanta Braves are on the market, but the Dodgers don't appear interested in either player.

Because Ramirez is a 10-and-5 player -- 10 years in the major leagues, the last five with the same team -- he has the right to block any trade. It's believed Ramirez would permit a trade only if the destination club were willing to decline the $20-million options in his contract for 2009 and 2010 and allow him to be a free agent at the end of this season.

Teixeira is a free agent at the end of the season and isn't a fit for the Dodgers, who have James Loney at first base. Loney won't be eligible for free agency until at least 2012.

Short hops

Brad Penny, recovering from shoulder tendinitis, is scheduled to start a two-game rehabilitation assignment Wednesday with Class-A Inland Empire. He will throw 45 pitches for the 66ers and then pitch again Aug. 4 for triple-A Las Vegas, putting him on track to pitch for the Dodgers Aug. 9 at San Francisco.

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Times staff writer Dylan Hernandez contributed to this report.

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ben.bolch@latimes.com

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