Mar 31

De Jesus, Ellis, Cormier, Gimenez, Paul round out Dodger Opening Day roster

Here’s who’ll suit up for Opening Day (Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has the details and the quotes.):

Starting pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda

Bullpen: Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen, Blake Hawksworth, Mike McDougal, Lance Cormier

Starting lineup: Rafael Furcal, Tony Gwynn Jr., Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Juan Uribe, James Loney, Rod Barajas, Jamey Carroll

Bench: Ivan De Jesus Jr., Aaron Miles, Hector Gimenez, A.J. Ellis, Xavier Paul, Marcus Thames

Disabled list: Jon Garland, Vicente Padilla, Jay Gibbons, Casey Blake, Dioner Navarro

Manager: Don Mattingly, interviewed by Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com

John Lindsey and Jon Link have been designated for assignment – I think the expectation is that Lindsey, if not both Lindsey and Link, will clear waivers and possibly end up in Albuquerque.

Most vulnerable to coming off the roster as the injured players return: De Jesus, Ellis, Cormier, McDougal and Paul.

Oh, and here’s a bonus for you:

June 2012 starting rotation: Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Rubby De La Rosa, Zach Lee

Mar 29

The emotional stakes

Dodger fans are going to have very little patience for games like tonight’s when the season starts. And they’ll come, as they always do. But if they come early and often, it’s going to get very ugly, very quickly.

* * *

Angels 5, Dodgers 1

Highlights:

  • Rod Barajas hit his third homer in the third inning.
  • Juan Uribe hit his team-high seventh double.
  • Hiroki Kuroda picked off Torii Hunter, and walked none while striking out four in four innings.
  • Michael Antonini, acquired in December for Chin-Lung Hu, pitched two shutout innings.

Lowlights:

  • Kuroda allowed three runs on seven hits.
  • Scott Elbert gave up a two-run homer to Hunter in his only inning – he faced six batters and allowed four baserunners.

Sidelights:

  • Spotlight man Andre Ethier went 1 for 3.
  • Molly Knight of ESPN the Magazine on Twitter: “When told of Ethier’s comments that he could be non-tendered after 2011, a visibly agitated Ned Colletti shook his head.”
  • Steve Mason and John Ireland of ESPN AM 710 had Chad Billingsley on today, then later, me. Mason and Ireland called me “the most mellow guy in the world.” If they only knew …
  • From The Associated Press: “Dodgers head trainer Stan Conte was not with the team, having spent Tuesday in San Francisco testifying in Barry Bonds’ perjury trial. The former Giants slugger is charged with lying to a grand jury when he denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs. Conte, the Giants’ head trainer during seven of his 15 years with them, gave detailed and damaging accounts of Bonds’ daily activities with his personal trainers, Greg Anderson and Harvey Shields – whom Conte had attempted to ban from the clubhouse.”
Mar 28

Dodgers walk nine in 5-4 loss

Angels 5, Dodgers 4

Highlights:

  • Rafael Furcal singled, walked and scored two runs.
  • Consecutive RBI hits by Juan Uribe and Rod Barajas rallied the Dodgers from a 3-2 sixth-inning deficit.
  • Jerry Sands and Hector Gimenez each had late hits.
  • Relievers Mike MacDougal, Matt Guerrier and Hong-Chih Kuo pitched 3 1/3 combined shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.

Lowlights:

  • Ted Lilly walked five and allowed four hits in a four-inning outing.
  • Kenley Jansen walked three more and gave up a hit and a run while recording only two outs.
  • Ivan De Jesus Jr. messed up a double-play ball behind Jonathan Broxton with the Dodgers leading 4-3 in the ninth.
  • After the tying run scored on a single by top prospect Mike Trout, Broxton walked minor-leaguer Andrew Romine, allowing Hank Conger to come up to bat and hit a sacrifice fly.
  • Gabe Kapler hit into a game-ending double play with two on in the bottom of the ninth.

Sidelights:

  • I’m seriously considering complete abstention from debating the merits of Jonathan Broxton for the time being. The season hasn’t even started, and already the fur is flying about his value. No, he didn’t do his job. Neither did De Jesus, Jansen or Lilly, but no one will question their manhood. I’m willing to admit I’m concerned about whether Broxton’s all the way back from his late 2010 troubles, but I just don’t know if I can spend yet another year arguing about the man’s courage, spine or gumption. It’s completely subjective, and people are just going to believe what they want to believe.
  • It seems Jay Gibbons might go on the disabled list because his eye issues remain unresolved. That would probably mean an Opening Day start for Tony Gwynn Jr. As for the roster spot, that could go to anyone: a pitcher (allowing Scott Elbert and Lance Cormier both to make the team), a catcher (allowing both Hector Gimenez and A.J. Ellis to make the team), an infielder (Juan Castro) or an outfielder (Kapler or Trent Oeltjen).
  • “Don’t Stop Believin’” is back? Goodness gracious sakes alive, why???
Mar 27

Dodgers drop Camelback finale

Indians 6, Dodgers 1

Highlights:

  • Aaron Miles went 2 for 2.
  • Corey Smith hit a ground-rule double to dead center. In 14 plate appearances this spring: two singles, two doubles, two homers, four walks, four outs, 2.114 OPS. Smith, a third baseman who turns 29 next month, is shaping up to be this year’s John Lindsey. He’s an 11-year minor-league veteran who has never reached the majors.

Lowlights:

  • Chad Billingsley allowed a single, a walk, a hit batter and a double in a two-run second inning.
  • Ivan DeJesus Jr. was called out on strikes with two on and two out in the third.

Sidelights:

  • Ramon Troncoso was sent to the minors. As Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com says, the final spot in the bullpen is a two-man competition between lefty Scott Elbert and righty Lance Cormier. If the Dodgers were going on last year’s performance, however, Cormier would be a lock ahead of Mike MacDougal, who has apparently made the team. That being said, Cormier did walk more than he struck out last year as well.
  • Dylan Hernandez of the Times is suggesting that the Dodgers are now considering going to a fifth starter on April 10, to give Clayton Kershaw and Billingsley an early extra day of rest, and aree lining up Tim Redding for the slot.
  • Jerry Crowe of the Times tells the story of how Mike Brito discovered Bobby Castillo, which of course had a major effect on Fernando Valenzuela’s path in Los Angeles.
Mar 26

Kershaw perfect in warmup to regular season

Dodgers 5, Padres 4

Highlights:

  • In a scheduled short tune-up outing for Opening Day, Clayton Kershaw retired all 11 batters he faced (including one that reached on an error by Juan Uribe). Kershaw struck out three.
  • Dodger pitchers didn’t allow a hit until Jason Bartlett singled off Lance Cormier in the sixth inning.
  • Uribe doubled and homered, driving in four runs.
  • Jonathan Broxton hit a batter before retiring his next three, striking out one.
  • James Loney singled, walked and scored twice.

Lowlights:

  • With roster spots all but locked up, Scott Elbert gave up a homer and two singles to the four batters he faced …
  • … and then Mike MacDougal allowed both baserunners to score, giving up a single and two walks among his five batters.
  • Rafael Furcal went 0 for 3. For the spring, he has a .264 on-base percentage and .240 slugging percentage – 10 singles and a double in 50 at-bats.

Lowlights:

  • Furcal was hit by a pitch an inning after Broxton hit his batter, and both benches emptied. From The Associated Press:

    … There were no pushes, punches or ejections during the dustup in the sixth inning.“That’s just players being players,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “It was a competitive game even though it was spring training. It was good, spirited play.”

    The incident occurred after the Dodgers’ half-inning ended when Andre Ethier began shouting at the Padres dugout from the on-deck circle. Moments earlier, Furcal was hit by Padres reliever Brad Brach.

    Ryan Ludwick was struck by Broxton’s pitch in the bottom of the fifth.

    On his way back to the dugout, Ludwick stopped at home plate and began hollering at the Dodgers, but neither side got within 10 feet of each other as Black and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly broke up the dispute.

    “I’ll tell you what, I don’t mind our boys stepping up,” Mattingly said. “I don’t mind at all.” …

  • With roster spots all but locked up, Scott Elbert gave up a homer and two singles to the four batters he faced …
  • As Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports, John Ely was optioned as planned – remaining a candidate to be called up for an April 12 start – and Ron Mahay was granted his release.
  • Travis Schlichting was reassigned to minor-league camp.
  • According to the Dodger press notes, Los Angeles is 13-9-1 this spring in full-squad games, which would mean they are 0-9 in split-squad games.
Mar 25

Navarro likely to be out until May

Dioner Navarro will be on the Dodger disabled list when the 2011 regular season begins and likely remain out until the end of April because of a right oblique tear. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.

… Mattingly said A.J. Ellis and Hector Gimenez will compete during the handful of days left before Opening Day for the right to hold down the backup catching job until Navarro returns. But Mattingly also hinted that Barajas might draw almost all of the starts while Navarro is out. Although Barajas is 35 and Mattingly had planned to give him regular rest, that rest presumably isn’t as important in April.

“We’re looking at Rod as the primary guy,” Mattingly said. ” I know I have to keep him strong, and I know he is an older guy. But I love his leadership. Earlier in the season, it isn’t as big a deal. As you get more into summer, he will have more games under his belt and you’re getting into some heat, so really, you’re trying to keep him from breaking down.”

It seems more than safe to bet that Gimenez will now make the Opening Day roster, which is shaping up thusly:

Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda

Relief pitchers (7): Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen, Blake Hawksworth, Mike MacDougal, Scott Elbert or Ron Mahay

Starting lineup (8): Rod Barajas, James Loney, Jamey Carroll or Ivan De Jesus Jr., Rafael Furcal, Juan Uribe, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Jay Gibbons or Xavier Paul

Bench (4): Hector Gimenez, Marcus Thames, Tony Gwynn Jr., Aaron Miles

Fighting for two spots: John Ely, Tim Redding, Ramon Troncoso, Lance Cormier, Travis Schlichting, Juan Castro, Ivan DeJesus Jr., Jay Gibbons/Xavier Paul, Trent Oeltjen, A.J. Ellis

Mar 23

A Place in the Sun

Farewell, Elizabeth Taylor. Above is a scene from my favorite film of hers. (If you can’t see the video, click here.)

* * *

  • In case you missed it, here’s Tony Jackson’s postgame notebook from Tuesday on ESPNLosAngeles.com, topped by Chad Billingsley. Among other news, Oscar Villarreal was sent to minor-league camp. And here’s a quick note on Jamey Carroll:

    … Carroll, who has been playing on the minor league side the last few days to get at-bats while he has been limited from throwing because of soreness in his right index finger, said he had no trouble throwing Tuesday and feels ready to return to Cactus League action. However, Carroll indicated the medical staff will make the final determination on when he actually does return.

  • From Forbes: Special Report: Inside Baseball’s Debt Disaster. Believe it or not, the Dodgers are mentioned — though as Maury Brown notes, overall valuation of the franchise has risen to $800 million, third-highest in baseball.
  • “Sweet” Lou Johnson was interviewed by Evan Bladh, Jr. of Opinion of Kingman’s Performance.
  • Ernie Banks, Morgan Freeman and Carlos Santana (the musician) will be honored with Beacon Awards at MLB’s fifth-annual Civil Rights game May 15.
  • I stumbled across this article I wrote 10 years ago and had a laugh.  Enron, Qualcomm, Network Associates, 3Com … it’s quite the Hall of Fame.

* * *

Dodgers at White Sox, 1:05 p.m.

Mar 22

Billingsley shines, Dodgers win in 10th


Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesChad Billingsley (shown here on St. Patrick’s Day)

Dodgers 2, Cubs 1 (10)

Highlights:

  • In the finest outing by a Dodger pitcher this spring, Chad Billingsley threw six shutout innings, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out three. Starting in the second inning, he retired 12 batters in a row before allowing a single and two walks with two out in the sixth, but Billingsley then retired Jeff Baker on a fly to center.
  • Dodger farmhand Kyle Russell doubled with one out in the 10th, then scored on Orlando Mercado’s game-winning hit.
  • Hector Gimenez’s charmed spring added another clover when, in his first inning in left field, he threw out Tyler Colvin at the plate. Dodger Thoughts reader BHSportsGuy said Colvin had barely passed third when Gimenez picked up the ball, but it was a good, low throw to Rod Barajas.
  • Scott Elbert relieved Lance Cormier with two on and two out in the seventh, and struck out Colvin.
  • Rafael Furcal singled and doubled.
  • Xavier Paul singled in Eugenio Velez (2 for 3) in the fifth to give the Dodgers their initial 1-0 lead.
  • Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a perfect inning, striking out Carlos Pena and Geovany Soto.
  • Minor-leaguer Corey Smith singled and walked — in nine plate appearances this spring, he has a single, a double, two homers and two walks. OPS: 2.611.

Lowlights:

  • Velez hurt himself while bunting for a hit in the seventh inning.
  • Ramon Troncoso gave up a game-tying homer to the first batter he faced in the ninth inning, Baker, before retiring the next three hitters.
  • Gimenez’s charmed spring lost a clover when he went 0 for 4 at the plate with three strikeouts.
  • Jay Gibbons went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Sidelights:

  • Good work by Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., showing how the Camelback Ranch attendance drop reported by Steve Dilbeck of the Times was overblown.
  • Logan White told Mark Timmons and Jared Massey of LADodgertalk.com, “I’d rather be a Dodger than a GM,” adding that his heart really wasn’t into the job interviews he has had.
  • Blake DeWitt tripled off Cormier to start the Cubs’ thwarted seventh-inning rally.
  • Even though Stanford lost, this was the highlight of my day:

Mar 19

Dodgers, Brewers take Route 6-6

Dodgers 6, Brewers 6

Highlights:

  • Aaron Miles went 2 for 4 with a one-out double in the bottom of the ninth that led to the tying run, completing the Dodgers’ rally from a 6-2 deficit.
  • Juan Castro also doubled and singled.
  • Scott Elbert pitched a perfect inning. He stayed around the plate for the first two batters, before going to a three-ball count on the third.

Lowlights:

  • Ramon Troncoso replaced Hiroki Kuroda with two out in the sixth inning, score tied 1-1 and two runners on base. By the time he got the third out, the score was 4-1 Brewers.
  • Two more runs came off of Travis Schlichting in the seventh inning.

Sidelights:

  • Vicente Padilla’s rehabilitation seems to be progressing rapidly, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
  • San Francisco closer Brian Wilson has a ribcage strain and might miss the start of the regular season, says The Press that is Associated.
Mar 19

Happy birthday, Clayton Kershaw

Our hero is a wizened 23 …

  • Rubby De La Rosa gets featured play from Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com and Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
  • Though a comeback is unrealistic, you can tell in this piece by Gurnick that Darren Dreifort misses baseball.
  • Fifty years ago, $37.50 would get you eight Saturdays of instruction at Leo Durocher’s California Baseball School. Check out the ad at the Daily Mirror.
  • “Brooklyn Dodgers in Cuba” author Jim Vitti was interviewed by Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven.
  • Spring Training attendance for the Dodgers and Angels has dropped more than 40% this year so far, notes Steve Dilbeck of the Times, though this weekend’s games should start a rebound.
  • Here’s how Rockies blog Purple Row assess the Dodgers.
  • Please make sure you don’t skip over Hollywood Joe Benardello’s guest piece, “A has-been’s and never-was’ perspective of Camelback Ranch.”

* * *

Brewers at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.
(KCAL)

Mar 18

Rubby doobie doo: Four no-hit innings for De La Rosa

APRubby De La Rosa

Just as there’s no denying how meaningless Spring Training performances generally are, there’s also no denying how much fun it can be when you see a top prospect excel. Has there been a better March memory this century than Clayton Kershaw’s Public Enemy No. 1 from 2008? (It helps when you have Vin Scully documenting it.)

Though it’s hardly been the best of Dodger Spring Trainings in 2011 (albeit one devoid of controversy), the organization’s reigning players of the year have far from disappointed. Jerry Sands was red hot at the plate in the early going, and now there’s pitcher Rubby De La Rosa, who fired four no-hit innings in a start against San Francisco today.

De La Rosa walked three (his first free passes of the spring) and struck out two. In exhibition play, the player who will become the centerpiece of the Dodgers’ 2013 “Rubby Tuesday” marketing campaign has thrown 10 innings and allowed seven baserunners while striking out seven and posting a 1.80 ERA.

De La Rosa will start the season in the minors, but will we have to wait until 2012 for his arrival? If he can pitch consistently into the summer, maybe not …

However unrealistic (at least in the short term), it’s fun sometimes to just tune out the noise and think about guys like Sands and De La Rosa as potential saviors.

* * *

Dodgers 6, Giants 3

Highlights:

  • Um, Hector Gimenez homered again, this time off Guillermo Mota. Gimenez is a combination of fun and scary. Dare I even consider falling in love with this guy? How about a no-strings-attached fling?
  • Matt Kemp was in the thick of things again, with a triple, walk and sacrifice fly.
  • Second base, the position that could open up if Casey Blake goes on the disabled list, looked nice to Ivan De Jesus,Jr., who started there and went 3 for 4 with a double.
  • Xavier Paul, who also homered off Mota, upped his spring OBP to .343 and slugging percentage to .625.
  • Rafael Furcal and James Loney had two-hit games.

Lowlights:

  • Blake Hawksworth allowed two runs in the fifth inning.
  • Kenley Jansen struck out two but allowed back-to-back extra-base hits in between.

Sidelights:

  • Batters retired by De La Rosa: Mike Fontenot, Miguel Tejada, Aubrey Huff, Nate Schierholtz, Aaron Rowand, Travis Ishikawa, Jeff Suppan, Tejada, Huff, Pablo Sandoval, Schierholtz.
  • In 31 plate appearances this spring, Loney has 10 singles, no extra-base hits and one walk.
  • In their past two games, the Dodgers have 25 hits and one walk.
  • Confession: While checking in on the game via MLB Gameday, I saw Eugenio Velez homered in the ninth inning, and I groaned. Then, I saw that he had added to the Dodger lead, and remembered he was on the team. Then I saw that Gameday had made a mistake, and it was really Paul who hit the homer.
Mar 17

Gimenez rallies Dodgers with three-run blast

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 4

Highlights:

  • Look out, ’cause the Hector Gimenez bandwagon is rollin’. The Dodgers trailed the entire game today and were down 4-2 in the eighth inning until Gimenez followed singles by Tony Gwynn Jr. and Juan Castro with a homer to left field off Rafael Rodriguez.
  • The next batter, Gabe Kapler, followed with another homer to left.
  • Matt Kemp narrowed the Dodgers’ early 3-0 deficit with a two-run homer, his third of the spring, in the bottom of the fourth after Andre Ethier singled.
  • In his first at-bat since his return from the eye doctor, Jay Gibbons singled.
  • Pitching the sixth inning, Jonathan Broxton got his first two strikeouts of the spring.

Lowlights:

  • A two-run double by Miguel Montero in the top of the fourth helped saddle Chad Billingsley with a three-runs-in-five-innings day.
  • Mike MacDougal loaded the bases in the ninth on two walks and a hit batter, escaping when Adam Eaton (no, not that Adam Eaton) lined into a game-ending double play (Justin Sellers to Eugenio Velez).

Sidelights:

  • The Dodgers got 12 hits today from 12 different players, and no walks.
  • Kim Ng gets the headlines, but Alex Remington of Fangraphs thinks we should be seeing even more women in prominent roles in major-league baseball.
  • Steve Dilbeck of the Times talks about how St. Patrick’s Day used to be the highlight of Spring Training at Dodgertown in Vero Beach and laments its passing.
  • At Baseball Savvy, Howard Cole’s latest interview subject is … well, there’s no other way to put this … me.
Mar 16

State of the Opening Day roster: Update


Jake Roth/US PresswireDespite a 7.23 ERA last year with St. Louis, Mike MacDougal has taken advantage of Dodger injuries to carve out a chance at a roster spot.

On the last off day before the start of the season, this seems like a good time to check in on how the Dodger 25-man Opening Day roster is shaping up.

On track (18):

Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly

Relief pitchers (5): Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Matt Guerrier, Blake Hawksworth, Kenley Jansen

Catchers (1): Rod Barajas

Infielders (4): James Loney, Juan Uribe, Rafael Furcal, Jamey Carroll

Outfielders (4): Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Tony Gwynn Jr., Marcus Thames

Likely (3):

1) Casey Blake, 3B: The latest news on Blake sounds about as good as one might have expected – inflammation with no evidence of a muscle strain.  So while anything could happen, we won’t assume that he’ll be on the disabled list March 31.

2) Mike MacDougal, RP: A 0.00 spring ERA, veteran’s moxie and all the positive things people are saying about him in the press make MacDougal this year’s most likely prize off the scrap heap.

3) Dioner Navarro, C: A.J. Ellis can still be optioned to the minors, so we’ll put him aside. Though Hector Gimenez presents an alternative, Navarro seems safe.

Roster spot battles (4):

Norm Hall/Getty ImagesAn .847 spring OPS has helped make Hector Gimenez a longshot as opposed to a no-shot.

1) Jay Gibbons vs. Xavier Paul vs. Trent Oeltjen, OF, vs. Hector Gimenez, C/1B: Gibbons’ spring has been a nightmare, to the extent that Tony Gwynn Jr. might already have passed him in the pecking order for playing time. Xavier Paul, seemingly healthy and performing better as the month goes on, is now adding to the pressure while the eyesight-plagued Gibbons tries to solve his vision problems. A third-party candidate is Trent Oeltjen, who has been hitting all spring – and we’ll even leave open the possibility that Gimenez could take this spot instead of a sixth outfielder.  Chances: Gibbons 45%, Paul 35%, Oeltjen 10%, Gimenez 10%.

2) Aaron Miles vs. Ivan De Jesus Jr. vs. Justin Sellers vs. Juan Castro, IF: A veteran has the automatic edge when you’re talking backup infielder, so it seems safe to knock out De Jesus and Sellers, neither of whom have seized the day. Miles has had a better spring than Castro and is also centuries younger. Castro has that Brad Ausmus-like zen quality that Ned Colletti admires, but Miles has sufficient experience to fill the role. Chances: Miles 80%, Castro 10%, De Jesus 5%, Sellers 5%.

3) + 4) Ron Mahay vs. Scott Elbert vs. Ramon Troncoso vs. Lance Cormier, RP, vs. John Ely vs. Tim Redding, SP, vs. position player: These two final spots seem very much up for grabs at this point, compounded by the uncertainty over whether the Dodgers will start the year with four or five starting pitchers, and whether they’ll start with 11 pitchers overall or 12.

If they keep a fifth starter, it’s still an open battle. Both Redding and Ely can be sent to the minors, though the difference is if Redding is placed on the major-league roster, he would then have to clear waivers before he could go to Albuquerque (once, say, Vicente Padilla or Jon Garland was healthy). The Dodgers can yank Ely up and down this year at will.

Both Ely and Redding started the spring excellently, then faltered (like every other Dodger starter in the past week). Ely is on the upside of his career but with something to prove; Redding is on the downside of his career with something to prove. My guess is that even if Ely wins the job, the Dodgers won’t want him to lose his rhythm by pitching in long relief during the opening days of the season – meaning he would start the season in the minors and then come up April 12 when he is needed. I’m not sure they’d have those reservations with Redding.

Among the lefthanders, Mahay finally had a decent inning Tuesday, though the four batters he faced had 19 career major-league homers. Still, it’s hard to imagine that, short of a 180-degree turnaround, the Dodgers are ready to rely on Elbert, who has walked nine of 20 batters he has faced this spring.

Troncoso has outpitched both lefties, though I’m not sure the Dodgers are convinced he’s all the way back from his 2010 struggles. If he were, he and MacDougal would exchange places. Lance Cormier has gotten little attention while throwing four innings and allowing seven hits while striking out one, but he remains in the running.

And then there’s the chance the Dodgers go with an 11-man staff and keep six guys on the bench. Gimenez, anyone?

If the Dodgers were making their final cuts today, I’d predict they keep two relievers at the outset and fly Ely to San Francisco on April 12. Chances: Troncoso 45%, Mahay 45%, Cormier 30%, Ely 30%, Redding 25%, position player 20%, Elbert 5%.

Mar 15

Scrubs wash away Dodger losing streak

Jake Roth/US PresswireRafael Furcal stands before the world’s largest unicycle.

Dodgers 7, Rangers 6

After a 4-2 lead turned into a 6-4 deficit, the Dodgers came back to end their eight-game losing streak.

Highlights:

  • Ivan DeJesus, Jr. singled twice and scored two runs.
  • Juan Uribe drove in three runs with a bases-loaded walk and a two-run double.
  • Another hit for Trent Oeltjen, who is batting .467. His leadoff single in the eighth keyed a three-run Dodger rally.
  • Xavier Paul, Gabe Kapler and Eugenio Velez added singles in the eighth. Kapler took second on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run thanks to Velez.
  • Hong-Chih Kuo struck out two in a scoreless inning.
  • Blake Hawksworth and Ron Mahay pitched the final two shutout innings to seal the victory.

Lowlights:

  • James Loney and Rod Barajas each left the bases loaded in the first inning and went 0 for 3.
  • Uribe muffed a ball at third base for an error, leading to an unearned run off Clayton Kershaw.
  • Kershaw allowed 10 singles and a double, leading to five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings that marred his 0.00 ERA. He struck out three and walked none.

Sidelights: