Ethier to bat in front of Manny

LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier, the National League's leading hitter, is scheduled to hit third in front of Manny Ramirez when the Dodgers play host to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.

"I don't know if it's better pitches, but you get more pitches around the zone to hit," Ethier said. "They're not going to want to put you on and have a couple runners on before him."

Ramirez was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game.

Outfielder Xavier Paul was optioned back to Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday to make room for Ramirez. Paul hit .276 (eight for 29) with four doubles, a triple and three stolen bases in nine games during Ramirez's absence.

"We gave X a chance to play against the right-handers and he did a good job," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He gave us a spark in a couple games. He doesn't have any fear. He was disappointed the other night when we sent him down. When I walked in the clubhouse after the game, he looked right at me and he knew what was happening.

"X can certainly play at this level, and play off the bench. But it's better that he go down there and get at-bats, because that's how he's gotten better from the time I got to know him till now."

Is it almost Tuesday already?

Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to pitch in Sunday's series finale against the Rockies. Chad Billingsley will open a three-game series against the Diamondbacks on Monday in Arizona. Who will throw Tuesday?

It would've been John Ely's spot in the rotation, but he was sent back to Triple-A on Friday to make room for Jeff Weaver.

Asked if who his starter on Tuesday would be, Torre laughed and said:

"It's almost Tuesday, isn't it? I guess we'll have to have one for you tomorrow," he said. "I guess [Carlos] Monasterios has to fall in there, or if we decided to do [Ramon] Ortiz. ... We'll have to see."

Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.