- Associated Press - Thursday, July 15, 2010

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers activated Manny Ramirez from the 15-day disabled list and had him batting cleanup against the St. Louis Cardinals. Not that manager Joe Torre was expecting a big power influx.

The 38-year-old Ramirez was hitting .322 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs. Torre said at this stage of his career, Ramirez has learned to cut down on his swing and hit line drives.

“To me, production is what it’s all about,” Torre said Thursday. “He’s had some flat spots, but for the most part his ability to hit line drives all over has been very productive for us.”

Torre discounted Ramirez‘ poor numbers during a brief rehab stint. Ramirez missed 11 games with a strained right hamstring and was 0 for 9 with five strikeouts in three games with Class A Inland Empire.

“I’ve been getting reports on a regular basis,” Torre said. “He hasn’t done a whole lot, but nothing bothered him.”

Outfielder Reed Johnson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury. The move was backdated to July 9 for Johnson, who had missed the previous three games.

Torre said Johnson still had pain and felt it best to all him to completely recover from the injury. Johnson is batting .291 with seven RBIs in 127 at-bats.

“It’s better, I think, just for his sake and for our sake,” Torre said. “If you ask him to play he’ll play, but he shouldn’t be playing.”

Torre held a midday workout earlier Thursday to get players ready for the second half, excluding his four All-Stars and Clayton Kershaw, the starter Thursday night. All-Star pitchers Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo showed up anyway for infield and outfield practice and pitchers’ fielding drills.

Torre reasoned that coming to the ballpark a few hours early on the first day of the second half was an acceptable tradeoff for not holding a workout on Wednesday. He didn’t mind that the workout took place in near triple-digit temperatures with high humidity

“You just sort of wanted to get people involved and sort of shake out the cobwebs,” Torre said. “I just needed in essence to get them out of bed, not that they literally were going to be in bed.”

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