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Dodgers Spring Report

Ramirez confines exercise to pool

March 18, 2009|Jim Peltz

PHOENIX — Manny Ramirez says he is exercising in a swimming pool but not running as he tries to relieve tightness in his left hamstring, which is keeping him out of Cactus League games.

"Anybody that goes on the field, you don't want to be hurt," Ramirez said Tuesday. "Just going to take my time, be patient. We're shooting for next week."

After signing a new two-year, $45-million contract and reporting late to spring training, the slugger developed the tightness in running drills last week and aggravated the injury while playing left field for the first time this spring in a game Sunday.

The Dodgers then decided to rest Ramirez, 36, at least through this week.

The whole team has the day off today.

"I told [Ramirez] today, 'If you play a week or 10 days of baseball games -- and I think it will probably be more than that -- you should be fine,' " Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said Tuesday.

Zambrano's clout

Maybe the Dodgers should have asked to use designated hitters in Tuesday's game with the Chicago Cubs.

Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano hit a three-run home run and doubled in another run off Dodgers starter Randy Wolf to lead the Cubs to a 12-3 rout at Camelback Ranch.

Wolf surrendered seven runs and 10 hits in four innings.

As pitchers go, Zambrano is not an easy out.

He hit .337 last year with 14 runs batted in.

The game drew a Cactus League-record crowd of 13,046, breaking the previous high of 13,010 set Feb. 28 in a game between the Cubs and Chicago White Sox at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz., the Dodgers said.

McCourt promoted

Jamie McCourt, wife of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, on Tuesday was named to the newly created position of chief executive of the team.

She was formerly team president, a position that will now be taken by Dennis Mannion, former executive vice president and chief operating officer.

"Jamie has done an outstanding job of assembling a talented management team, fostering a positive culture and building a first-class business operation," Frank McCourt said in a statement.

The team said that in her new role, Jamie McCourt would "oversee the strategic direction and decisions" involving the Dodgers.

Short hops

The Dodgers have 48 players in camp after optioning several Tuesday to the minors: Infielder Tony Abreu, left-handed pitchers Victor Garate and Brent Leach, right-handed pitchers Jesus Castillo and Travis Schlichting and catcher Lucas May. . . . Torre still hasn't decided on a fifth starter. Asked who was in contention, he declined to be specific but said, "I have some people that I'm -- let's put it this way -- I'm more comfortable watching."

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james.peltz@latimes.com

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