ST. LOUIS -- As expected, the Los Angeles Dodgers activated left fielder Manny Ramirez from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday and immediately inserted him into the starting lineup, batting fourth, for the team's second-half opener against the St. Louis Cardinals.
To clear a roster spot, the Dodgers placed reserve outfielder Reed Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with the same back injury that rendered him unavailable for the final three games of the first half.
Ramirez had been sidelined since July 3 with a right-hamstring injury he suffered on June 29 at San Francisco, when he made an abrupt turn after rounding second base in an attempt to get back to the bag. The 38-year-old is hitting .322 with eight home runs this season.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Johnson's injury, a lumbar strain, is mild. The move was made retroactive to last Friday, meaning Johnson will be eligible to return June 24 against the New York Mets, and Torre said he likely will be able to do so.
"It's not going away, but it's better," Torre said of the back problem. "If asked to play, he would play, but he shouldn't be playing. Hopefully, by the time he is eligible to come off ... he should be OK. He is getting better, but he is still feeling it."
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.