Garciaparra to be activated Friday

Garciaparra to be activated Friday

LOS ANGELES -- When the Dodgers leave for Atlanta on Thursday, joining them on the five-game road trip will be Nomar Garciaparra, who, according to Manager Joe Torre, will be activated in time for Friday's game.

"I spoke with him earlier and he's fine," Torre said on Tuesday. "He had a good day."

The plan is for Garciaparra to play in one more rehab assignment early Wednesday, then rejoin the club on Thursday for the trip east.

Monday night in Sacramento, Calif., Garciaparra went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a walk, while starting the game at third base.

For Garciaparra, it's been a much longer recovery than originally expected after suffering a fractured right hand when he was struck by a pitch on March 7 by Cardinals hurler Kyle McClellan. At that time, it was thought to be a day-to-day injury, but has since grown into a frustrating five weeks.

Torre said that he wasn't concerned that Garciaparra was hitless in seven at-bats up until last night, rather, it was a matter of how Garciaparra felt.

"The thing I look for is that he seems pretty comfortable," said Torre, adding, "The three hits certainly helps him in the timing part."

As for roster moves, the Dodgers are still weighing their options.

"There is a possibility that that we can go to 11 pitchers," Torre said.

With Esteban Loaiza and Chan Ho Park, the Dodgers have a couple of long-relief pitchers, which gives them some flexibility.

According to Torre, "It's something for the long haul we're not going to do, but there is a possibility that we can do it."

"We haven't settled in on one person yet," Torre explained. "We have to figure out what makes sense at this place and time."

Part of the decision-making process is based on how Garciaparra will respond to playing regularly.

"We'll have to see what we're doing and what Nomar can do physically," Torre said. "Does he play three and get one off? I don't know that. I think we'll have to figure that out."

The most important thing is to make sure that they don't do anything to make the injury flare up again.

"It's not like he's going to play till it hurts," Torre said. "I think we have to devise some kind of plan or routine that makes sense in keeping it from being a problem.

"There is a difference between playing hurt and playing stupid."

Glenn Rabney is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.