- Tony Jackson, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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ATLANTA -- Ned Colletti was noncommittal when asked by telephone Saturday whether he still is looking to upgrade the team before the Aug. 31 deadline to trade players who have cleared waivers.
"I'm looking for us to play better," Colletti said. "That's what I'm looking for."
The Dodgers entered Saturday in fourth place in the National League West, 10 games behind the division-leading San Diego Padres, and fifth in the NL wild-card standings, 6½ games behind the San Francisco Giants.
Given those deficits and the fact they had just 46 games remaining, the Dodgers' hopes of a third consecutive trip to the playoffs seemed remote, at best. Despite that, Colletti said he wasn't ready to transition from buyer mode to seller mode (or at least non-buyer mode), although he seemed to leave the door open slightly for that to change.
"There are 17 days to go before Aug. 31," Colletti said.
The Dodgers took a three-game losing streak into Saturday, one in which they had been shut out twice and blown a seven-run, eighth-inning lead in the other game, all at a time when key players Manny Ramirez and Rafael Furcal continued to languish on the disabled list and catcher Russell Martin is believed to be done for the season with a hip injury. The Dodgers are 10-18 since the start of the second half, a stretch during which they had fallen seven games further back in the division standings.
Ramirez ran on the field at the team's spring-training complex in Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday, the first time he has done that since straining his right calf on July 16, an injury that landed him on the 15-day disabled list.
"He had a good day," Torre said. "He ran on the field, he took fly balls, and he took ground balls. He is probably 60-70 percent, better than that as far as getting better, but his running is probably 60-70 percent. ... He did tee hitting, live hitting and indoor hitting and threw at 120 feet. He put himself through a lot of things."
Ramirez is expected to do all of that again on Sunday, return to Los Angeles on Monday and be examined by the team's medical staff on Tuesday, at which point Ramirez's readiness for a minor league rehabilitation assignment will be gauged.
"He has been telling [trainer] Stan [Conte] he would like to start his rehab this coming week," Torre said.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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