Manny Ramirez's injury gets Matt Kemp back in the lineup

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Manny Ramirez is out of the Dodgers’ lineup today after leaving last night’s game with a hamstring injury and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that he’ll undergo an MRI exam tomorrow to determine whether a stint on the disabled list is needed.
Ramirez’s injury opens the door for Matt Kemp to sneak out of Joe Torre’s doghouse. After being a healthy scratch in three straight games Kemp is starting in center field and batting third today.
There’s been lots of speculation about whether Kemp’s benching was due entirely to his recent slump or if reports of him getting into a confrontation with a coach also played a part.
Torre was asked about that this afternoon and interestingly chose not to deny it, saying instead: “I have no comment.” I’m sure Torre would say that’s just him not wanting to broach the subject at all, but since it would have been awfully easy for him to simply say “no” the “I have no comment” certainly makes it seem like there’s some fire behind the smoke.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.