Manny's return has domino effect on lineup

Manny's return has domino effect on lineup

LOS ANGELES -- Jay Gibbons was slated to play first base for the first time since 2005 and Scott Podsednik was moved to the bench on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, moves both related to the activation of Manny Ramirez.

In Gibbons' case, manager Joe Torre said he was mostly looking to give first baseman James Loney a day off. Loney, batting .271, has gone 0-for-4 in both the last two games.

But Gibbons likely won't see as much time in the outfield as he would've before Ramirez came back from the disabled list Saturday. Infielder Juan Castro was designated for assignment, leaving only Ronnie Belliard to come off the bench as a natural infielder. That means Belliard will see fewer pinch-hit appearances, and that Podsednik joins Gibbons and Reed Johnson on a crowded bench.

Gibbons said he was told by Torre on Friday night that he would play first, and Gibbons said he was happy to see the playing time. Comfortable, though, might not be the best way to describe how he feels around the bag.

"I just going to try to be a goalie over there," said Gibbons, who had played first base 86 times in the Majors and also saw action there this season for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Torre said he will play the matchups to keep Podsednik in the mix. Podsednik has been in a bench role only one other time in his 10-year career, in 2008 with the Rockies after an injury-shortened season the year before.

"It was obviously different for me," Podsednik said. "It's a little bit of an adjustment. It's not easy, by any means. It went about as good as about I could expect it to go, doing it for the first time."

Torre said he had talked to Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp about the necessity to play the matchups, but had not talked to Podsednik. Podsednik is scheduled to start Sunday.

Castro went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in his only start for the Dodgers. He is a likely candidate to return as a September callup.