Ramirez, Martin appear to avoid DL

ST. LOUIS -- Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez will be limited to pinch-hitting duties at least through the weekend because of the right-calf tightness that caused him to leave Friday night's game in the first inning. However, it appears Ramirez will avoid what would have been his third trip to the disabled list this season.

"He feels better than [Friday], but he isn't available," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He could pinch hit today or tomorrow, but he probably won't be a [starter] until sometime early next week."

Ramirez had been back from the disabled list, where he spent two weeks with a right-hamstring strain, for just about 24 hours when he felt tightness in his calf while loosening up just before Friday's game. The tightness got continually worse to the point that after jogging to his position for the bottom of the first inning, Ramirez determined that he couldn't continue and came out of the game.

Dodgers catcher Russell Martin also will avoid the disabled list, but won't start until at least Monday because of an injury to his left (non-throwing) hand that had begun to affect him when he swung a bat.

"Russell is playable," Torre said. "As I said [Friday] night, it's not letting him get on top and is really causing him to sort of hurry offensively, which he should not be doing. He is a line-drive guy. He is making adjustments to deal with it. ... He is available to hit, and maybe by Monday, it will be less tender."

Martin left Friday night's game in the eighth inning because of the injury, which he said was a repetition injury that resulted from constantly catching pitches with that hand.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.