June 2009

Elbert Promoted to Albuquerque

Left-hander Scott Elbert was promoted from Double-A Chattanooga to Triple-A Albuquerque Wednesday, replacing in the starting rotation Miguel Pinango, who was released. The Dodgers — as well as clubs that might be interested in obtaining Elbert in exchange for the veteran starter the Dodgers are seeking — want to see him against more veteran hitters. Elbert, a former No. 1 draft pick, was seen by Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti on his Minor League scouting trip last week. — Ken Gurnick

Blaney Lands Cal League Post

Charley Blaney, the Dodgers’ former Vice President of Minor League Operations, was named president of the California League Tuesday. Blaney worked in the Dodgers front office for 32 years from 1966 until 1998. — Ken Gurnick

Broxton Tests Toe

Trainer Stan Conte said closer Jonathan Broxton might be available Friday night after missing the previous two games with an irritated nerve in his big right toe. Broxton made a handful of tosses off the bullpen mound during batting practice and reported continued improvement. If Broxton is not available, manager Joe Torre said he would again use Ramon Troncoso to closer. — Ken Gurnick

McDonald Up, Schlichting Down

With long reliever Jeff Weaver starting Saturday night, the Dodgers recalled James McDonald from Triple-A Albuquerque to be a long reliever and sent right-handed reliever Travis Schlichting to Albuquerque. — Ken Gurnick

Dodgers Sign 23 Picks

The Dodgers announced the signings of 23 of their 51 picks from last week’s First-Year draft, headed by fourth-rounder outfielder Mario Songco from Loyola-Marymount. The others and their rounds: catcher Jan Vazquez (6), outfielder Jonathan Garcia (8), left-handed pitcher Andy Suiter (10), outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez (12), right-handed pitcher Joe Paxson (13), shortstop Casio Grider (14), catcher Mike Pericht (16), right-handed pitcher Steven Ames (17), left-handed pitcher Greg Wilborn (18), outfielder Nick Akins (19), third baseman Chris Henderson (21), outfielder Stetson Banks (22), right-handed pitcher Jimmy Marshall (23), right-handed pitcher John Hernandez (28), right-handed pitcher Nick Gaudi (30), outfielder Austin King (31), left-handed pitcher Graham Miller (32), catcher Steve Cilladi (33), right-handed pitcher Justin Dignelli (34), second baseman David Iden (35), right-handed pitcher Kevin Childs (36), right-handed pitcher Chris Handke (41). — Ken Gurnick

Estes Retires

Shawn Estes, passed over for call-ups and stuck at Triple-A, voluntarily retired Friday despite a 3-4 mark and 3.37 ERA in 15 starts with two complete games.

Eric Milton, eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday, said he’s been told he will instead make a Minor League rehab start Sunday and most likely will be called up to start for the Dodgers at the end of next week.

Albuquerque slugging first baseman Val Pascucci was released. — Ken Gurnick

Broxton Out Another Game

Closer Jonathan Broxton was not available Thursday night for the second consecutive game after receiving a cortisone injection for a sore big right toe but manager Joe Torre said he should be available Friday night. Manager Joe Torre said Ramon Troncoso would be his likely closer for the series finale against Oakland. Disabled reliever Will Ohman pitched one scoreless inning Thursday night at Triple-A Albuquerque. He will take one day off, then pitch in back-to-back games before being activated. Disabled pitcher Eric Milton, eligible to be activated Sunday, threw a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium. His rotation spot would not come up until late next week. Disabled pitcher Eric Stults also threw a bullpen session but he is not ready to be activated from a sprained thumb. Disabled pitcher Claudio Vargas threw three scoreless innings Thursday night for Albuquerque. Hong-Chih Kuo and Jason Schmidt still are not ready for rehab appearances. — Ken Gurnick

Manny’s Rehab Still Not Set

Dodgers manager Joe Torre stressed Thursday that details for Manny Ramirez’s Minor League rehab assignment, expected to begin next week, still are undecided. It could start for Triple-A Albuquerque early next week and likely would include time at Single-A Inland Empire 66ers, who are dark Monday through Wednesday. Ramirez is entitled to 10 Minor League games prior to coming off the suspended list July 3, when Torre said he expected Ramirez to be in the Dodgers’ lineup in San Diego. Torre said he expected Ramirez to need six or seven games to be ready for his MLB return. Ramirez resumed morning workouts at Dodger Stadium Thursday after missing several days with the flu. Ramirez was suspended on May 7 for 50 games for violating the MLB drug policy. — Ken Gurnick

Wolf Tested for Cough

Pitcher Randy Wolf underwent medical tests Wednesday seeking a diagnosis for a persistent cough with a very unusual new theory: whooping cough. Wolf has been bothered by the cough for about six weeks. He said he feels fine otherwise and believes it has no affect on his pitching, but it’s left his voice raspy. He hopes to have results of the bloodwork within a week.


The whooping cough theory was suggested in a round-about way, through a doctor friend of former player Matt Franco. The doctor read of Wolf’s symptoms and suggested through Franco that Wolf might be suffering from whooping cough (pertussis), which is contagious, although most children are immunized.


“It’s been nagging and it’s something more than a cold,” said Wolf. “It really doesn’t affect me. It just gives me a sexy voice.” — Ken Gurnick

Manny Makes Pre-game Appearance

Outfielder Manny Ramirez Tuesday made his first pre-game clubhouse appearance since his May 7 suspension for violating the MLB drug policy. Ramirez, who is serving a 50-game suspension, is allowed to work out with the ballclub, but so far has limited his workouts to the morning hours before teammates arrived. Ramirez is eligible to return to action July 3 (barring rainouts) and is expected to serve a Minor League rehab assignment of up to 10 games prior to being activated. — Ken Gurnick