March 2010

Repko Released; Stults Cleared to Leave

The Dodgers released outfielder Jason Repko Wednesday, saving $375,000 of his $500,000 salary. Repko had been passed on the outfield depth chart by Xavier Paul.

The Dodgers also announced that Eric Stults had cleared release waivers, allowing him to officially sign a deal with Hiroshima of the Japan League. — Ken Gurnick

Stults Scratched; Move Likely

Eric Stults was scratched from today’s start, with indcations the Dodgers are about to move him. Stults is out of options and there have been indications of interest in him from teams in Japan. Stults, saying goodbye to teammates in the clubhouse, said he was told by his agent not to say anything to the media. He was in the running for fifth starter. He was 8-10 in 35 games over parts of the past four seasons. 


— Ken Gurnick

Torre’s Pitchers Contain Indians

Manager Joe Torre used four pitchers against Cleveland Monday night who figure to make next week’s Opening Day roster, with starter Chad Billingsley pitching an effective five innings, followed by Jeff Weaver (two innings), Jonathan Broxton and Ramon Troncoso (one each).


A long first inning, when Billingsley allowed his only run, helped run up his pitch count to 83, then he went to the bullpen for another 25.


Weaver made it two innings, but only after getting drilled on the right side of his back when Grady Sizemore turned around Weaver’s first pitch. After the game, Weaver said he was okay. Torre again indicated Weaver would likely make the 11-man pitching staff, but only because there would be enough other pitchers who can throw on consecutive days.


Weaver is not one of them, but Broxton, Troncoso, George Sherrill, Ramon Ortiz and likely fifth starter Charlie Haeger should be able to. Torre said he’s not sure if Rule 5 pick Carlos Monasterios can. Broxton allowed a run Monday night, but Troncoso threw a scoreless inning pitching on consecutive days.


It was Sherrill’s day to pitch, but he didn’t, as he continues work on mechanical problems in bullpen sessions. Torre said Sherrill will pitch in Los Angeles Thursday night.


Andre Ethier slugged his fifth home run to right and doubled down the left-field line.


“Two of the prettiest things you’ll see,” said Torre. “It’s a lot of fun to watch a good hitter do things like that.” — Ken Gurnick

Lindblom Top Rookie in Camp

Pitcher Josh Lindblom is the winner of the 2010 Jim and Dearie Mulvey Award, given to the top rookie in Dodger camp as voted on by the Dodger coaches. Lindblom has impressed the staff, despite tossing just 4.0 innings during Cactus League play due in part to his being on the roster that went to Taiwan. The Indiana native was a second round pick by the Dodgers in 2008 out of Purdue. The Mulvey family were part owners of the Dodgers from 1938-1975. — Ken Gurnick

Torre Leaning Toward 11 Pitchers, DeWitt at Second

Manager Joe Torre said the Dodgers have tentatively decided to start the season with 11 pitchers instead of 12, which means Blake DeWitt is likely to start the season as the primary second baseman.


“I think we’re 11 now,” Torre said. “Still debating who the 11 are. There’s a chance we could go to 12 with all the extra players, but 11 seems the most reasonable thing to do. To start. My guess is 12 will be the number most of the year.”


Going with 11 pitchers makes it feasible for the Dodgers to keep one more position player, who will probably be Nick Green to serve as a natural backup shortstop to Rafael Furcal.


As for DeWitt, Torre conceded that the 11-man pitching staff would almost ensure DeWitt a job, at least sharing the position with Jamey Carroll and Ronnie Belliard.


“It’s realistic to say that,” Torre said. “He’s included in all those players. An 11-pitcher scenario, Blake DeWitt’s chances are better, it’s safe to say that.” — Ken Gurnick

Kuroda Sharp, Martin Healthy

Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven solid innings in a Minor League game against the Reds, allowing two hits, one a solo homer. He struck out seven without a walk and made 91 pitches.

Catcher Russell Martin caught Kuroda and went 0-for-3, all strikeouts, but showed no effects of the pulled groin muscle. Martin is not on the list to travel to Tucson Tuesday. — Ken Gurnick

Ortiz, Troncoso Step Up

Ramon Ortiz pitched on consecutive days for the first time as a professional Sunday, but said he felt normal as he pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts. Ortiz has just about locked up a bullpen job after coming to camp on a Minor League contract.

Ramon Troncoso, who got uniform No. 38 back after the release of Eric Gagne, came up with his best outing of the spring in the 2-1 win over the Reds,

“A year ago he was our 12th guy and turned into something much more important than that,” manager Joe Torre said of Troncoso. “He didn’t have a terrific spring, but there was never a question whether he’s on the club or not.”

Starter Clayton Kershaw had seven strikeouts in six innings, making 99 pitches and adding a single and a run scored. He stranded a runner in scoring position in four of the innings. — Ken Gurnick

Martin Promotion Tuesday

Russell Martin will catch Hiroki Kuroda Monday in a Minor League game, then on Tuesday will make his first Major League exhibition appearance since pulling a groin muscle, manager Joe Torre said.

Torre watched Martin catch seven innings Sunday and go 1-for-4 with a walk. Torre said Martin will probably play in Tucson where the Dodgers will face Colorado Tuesday.

“I felt good about what I saw,” said Torre. — Ken Gurnick

Martin Still in Minors

Catcher Russell Martin, despite saying he’s healed from a pulled groin muscle, is not being allowed to play in Major League games because management wants to keep open the option of placing him on the disabled list retroactively for 10 days. If Martin appears in a Major League exhibition game, he could only be disabled retroactively to the day after the last day he played. As a result, Martin was scheduled to play in Sunday’s Minor League game against the Indians at Goodyear, catching seven innings while leading off every inning. Manager Joe Torre said Martin might not appear in a Major League game until Thursday night in Los Angeles. — Ken Gurnick

Belisario Reports, Placed on Restricted List

AWOL reliever Ronald Belisario finally resolved his visa issues and arrived at the Dodgers’ Camelback Ranch-Glendale complex Saturday from his native Venezuela.


As a preemptive move, club officials revealed that on Friday they placed Belisario on the Major League restricted list for failure to report to Spring Training, effectively buying a 30-day window for Belisario to get in shape and be activated.


Vice president Kim Ng said Belisario will not count against the Dodgers’ 40-man Major League roster for a maximum of 30 days and won’t be paid either until he’s activated. Because Belisario is out of options, he cannot be sent to the Minor Leagues without clearing waivers. — Ken Gurnick