Dodgers put Garciaparra on 15-day DL

Dodgers put Garciaparra on DL

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers made room on the active roster for Manny Ramirez by placing his former Boston teammate, shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left knee.

Garciaparra, who felt he was nearly healthy enough to return to action, wasn't happy about it.

"You'll have to ask Joe about it," he said, referring to manager Joe Torre. "I'm feeling good, improving a lot faster than they anticipated. We'll see what happens."

Torre said he met with Garciaparra and explained the situation.

"He's getting better, but it's still a long way for a shortstop to go left and right," Torre said. "Even though he may be able to play before the time, it's not at full strength. He was resistant to it. I explained last night after the game what my feeling is. Even though he can play with less than his best stuff, at shortstop we want him as close to 100 percent as possible. He understood that. Basically, he took one for the team."

Which could be interpreted to mean that, along with Garciaparra not being at 100 percent, the Dodgers needed the roster spot. The primary alternative was to release pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney, but his bat is appearing to come alive after a season-long slump.

Garciaparra suffered the injury Sunday when Lastings Milledge slid into him at third base. His placement on the disabled list will be retroactive to Monday, meaning he will be eligible to return Aug. 12.

This is Garciaparra's third trip to the DL this season. He missed the season's first 14 games while recovering from a fractured bone in his right hand, then missed 62 games from April 26-July 3 with a strained left calf.

Garciaparra batted .309 (17-for-55) with five doubles, four homers, and 14 RBIs in 18 games (16 starts) after returning from his previous DL stint on July 4. The 35-year-old is hitting .279 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 27 games overall.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.