Mar 07

Harang harangued

Dodgers 3, A’s 3

Highlights:

  • Cory Sullivan went 3 for 4 with a game-tying double in the seventh.
  • Kenley Jansen, Scott Elbert, Javy Guerra, Alberto Castillo and Will Savage combined to shut out the A’s after the fourth inning, each striking out one batter in one inning.

Lowlights:

  • In their past two games, the Dodgers are 1 for 23 with runners in scoring position.
  • Aaron Harang allowed two singles, two doubles and two runs in two innings.
  • Outside of Sullivan, the Dodger lineup went 1 for 25 …

Sidelights:

  • … with eight walks. Los Angeles’ two fourth-inning runs came without a hit.
  • Manny Ramirez “was scratched 20 minutes before the first pitch with stiffness in his back experienced while getting some extra at-bats in a simulated game,” according to The Associated Press.
  • Former Dodger Jon Meloan, the part of the Carlos Santana trade that actually saved the Dodgers cash, has signed a minor-league deal with Texas, Battling arm trouble, Meloan hasn’t pitched in the majors since throwing 8 1/3 shutout innings with 11 strikeouts in 2009 with Oakland.
  • Jason Repko (.555 OPS in 144 plate appearances with Minnesota last year) has signed a minor-league deal with Boston.
  • Hiroki Kuroda allowed three runs and three hits over two innings in his New York Yankee spring training debut.
  • Yu Darvish struck out three in two scoreless innings of his American spring debut.
Jun 25

Minor leaguer Redman suspended for 50 games

Prentice Redman, a 31-year-old career minor leaguer who has a .401 on-base percentage and .551 slugging percentage for Albuquerque this season, will sit out the next 50 games after testing positive for amphetamine usage.

Redman’s only major-league appearances came in 2003 with the Mets. The Dodgers announced that Matt Kemp will be sent to Albuquerque to replace Redman. Just kidding.

Xavier Paul (.392/.594), Jamie Hoffmann (.358/.441) and Michael Restovich (.367/.556) are the other primary outfielders on the Isotopes, with Timo Perez and Jay Gibbons also seeing time on the grass.

The news of Redman’s suspension comes on the day that Dodger prospect Andrew Lambo returns to the field for AA Chattanooga after serving his own 50-gamer.

Lambo is joined by the recently promoted Jerry Sands and Aaron Miller.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins called up Jason Repko. Repko has a .780 OPS in AAA this season, batting mostly against righties. His numbers are better against righties for a change, but BABIP (batting average on balls in play) explains that.

Apr 07

Kershaw LII: There’s no business like Kershaw business

In case you missed it, check out Tony Jackson’s feature on tonight’s starter, Clayton Kershaw, for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

After Chad Billingsley starts Thursday morning in Pittsburgh (with Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake likely on the bench, according to Dodger manager Joe Torre), the Dodgers will go with Hiroki Kuroda, Vicente Padilla and Charlie Haeger (in that order) over the weekend in Florida.

Torre also told reporters that Matt Kemp will generally bat second against right-handed pitchers, that Blake DeWitt would continue to start against some lefties (depending on their type), that Ronald Belisario will practice game pitching on back-to-back days next week, and that Hong-Chih Kuo is on track to go out on a rehab assignment “soon.”

Other notes …

  • Believe it or not, the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants have each notched final scores on three games since the final out of the Dodgers’ Opening Day loss. Colorado surrendered a lead today in Milwaukee to fall to 1-2 on the season, while the Giants countered a three-run, seventh-inning, game-tying rally by Houston with six runs in the final two innings to sweep the Astros. Later tonight, San Diego and Arizona will stage a battle for second place in the National League West.
  • Jason Repko has signed with the Twins organization and will start there with AAA Rochester, the team’s official blog confirms. According to the site, Repko is the Twins’ first true centerfielder on their depth chart behind Denard Span.
  • “Among the eight starting position players on Opening Day 2009, only third baseman Andy LaRoche went on to start at least 100 games for the Pirates,” writes Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Over the past eight years, stats guru Bill James has tracked the number of games started by each team’s Opening Day starters. The Pirates amassed 665 games last year — the lowest single-season total James has ever recorded.”
  • I’m always a sucker for a good Danny Goodman story. Here’s a find on the Dodgers’ original marketing maven, from Keith Thursby of the Daily Mirror. Goodman called Los Angeles “the greatest gimmick town in America.”

    And 1960′s hit-seller?
    “I expect it’ll be the transistor radio. Blame that on Vince Scully,” smiled Danny. “He started the vogue. Why? People wanted to hear him at the game, so they started carrying radios.
    “Score one for Scully!”

Mar 31

You thought Jason Repko battled injuries? You have no idea …


Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire
Jason Repko

One of the highlights of the Maple Street Press 2010 Dodgers Annual was the feature by Albuquerque Isotopes broadcaster Robert Portnoy on cup-of-coffee men Jason Repko and Mitch Jones. In particular, you really come to understand how brutal the injuries were that Repko faced early in his professional career. They sapped his greatest potential away.

Just for starters in 2000: right hamstring blown out, two tendons torn away from the bone in his right leg, stress fracture in his back. As Portnoy writes:

… While the hamstring healed, the back did not. Repko wore a form-fitting brace for eight weeks, immobilizing him from his armpits to his hips. Still considered the number four Dodger prospect entering 2001, Repko played in constant pain and batted just .220 over 88 games at Low A Wilmington.

After the season, doctors told him the fracture remained in the L-5 vertebrae. Then they told him something shocking: Break the same vertebrae on the other side.

“They told me it was putting stress on the other side,” Repko said. “They said, ‘If you can handle playing with it, dive hard and slide hard and see if you can get it on the other side — it’ll be easier to fix.’”

In the Instructional League that fall, Repko did just that, fracturing the other side rounding third base. The options were spinal fusion, which would hurt rotation and flexibility, or a return to the brade, with promise of better results. Opting for the brace, Repko healed well, and he has learned to manage a resulting condition known as spondylothesis.

“The vertebrae will slip forward and the back will go into spasm, because there is more flexibility in there,” Repko said. “I can’t lie on my stomach and I don’t slide head first much anymore, but I’ve only had two or three spasms the last three years.” …

The guy didn’t have what it took to stick in the majors for the Dodgers, but he truly battled. Today, more than 10 years after the Dodgers drafted him, he heads off on waivers.

* * *

  • Dodgers assistant general manager of amateur and international scouting Logan White has certainly opened up in the past couple of weeks. Following the recent two-part series on Baseball Prospectus, White talks at length with Mark Timmons of L.A. Dodger Talk. It’s a great interview, full of insights and really needs to be read by all Dodger fans.
  • The McCourt ownership trial has been set to start August 30, placing it right in the stretch run of the 2010 season. I have to admit, for the time being I’ve had my fill of the innuendo and speculation, and don’t have much to say about it.
  • George Sherrill is taking a week off from game action to try to iron out some mechanical issues, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com — so expectations about him at the start of the regular season should be guarded.
  • Blake DeWitt is the subject of a feature by Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.