Johnson, out with a lumbar strain, has stalled a bit in his recovery. He was eligible to come off the DL Saturday.
"He's not really close to come back, not until we send him to rehab," Torre said. "Then we'll be able to put a clock on him. He's sort of staying at that level. He was moving, moving, moving, but now, he's sort of staying in the same place for a little. It feels better, but he's still going to have to go out and play a little bit to make sure it's OK."
The problem is the right-handed bat at Triple-A Albuquerque that makes the most sense, John Lindsey, is a first baseman whom Torre said isn't an outfield option. The left-handed bat, Jay Gibbons, is an outfielder, but his use is on the offensive side, Torre said, and the Dodgers already have left-handed bats in Garret Anderson and Xavier Paul.
"Well, the thing is, who would the other player be at this point? That's the only thing," Torre said. "John's a right-handed hitter, he'd be intriguing. Gibbons is a left-handed hitter, Major League experience, outfield, first base, but really an offensive guy, more a pinch-hitter guy.
"John, all year, he's been on fire. He started hitting in Spring Training the last couple games, when I went over to watch Russell [Martin] in the spring. Especially Gibbons, who's really been consistent, doing a nice job. Right now, it's all about room and balance."
Torre has been beholden to Anderson more for his presence and intangibles than his on-field contribution. He's batting .186.