Let’s Not Get Swept on National TV, Okay?

Since the less said about the Dodgers at the moment the better, there’s definitely a few things of note to mention from last night’s Las Vegas game (thanks to Torgy for pointing most of this out).

* Andruw Jones… played first base? Jones has played in 1835 games in the majors, 325 in the minors, and this is the first time he’s ever played the infield. Now, he had missed the previous four games with a sore knee, so this very well may have been a way to get him some at-bats without asking him to run in the outfield in a non-DH game. But who knows. Maybe with the outfield logjam, they might be interested in getting him some time as a right-handed option to James Loney at first base in September? That would be a sight to see. How weird does that picture to the right look, too?

* Why again did Tanyon Sturtze stick while Eric Stults went down? We questioned this at the time, and Stults was very good last night for Vegas in the high altitude of Colorado Springs, allowing just 2 hits and a single run over 6 innings, striking out 6. Stults is never going to be an All-Star, but he’s proven he belongs in the big leagues, especially with that complete game shutout of the White Sox. Besides, when you’ve got innings-limited guys like Kershaw and Maddux back-to-back in your rotation, wouldn’t you prefer having a guy who can go multiple innings like Stults rather than someone who’s basically useless in Sturtze – not to mention how annoying it is for poor bloggers to keep the names straight?

* It’s probably time to give up on Greg Miller, right? If you’re unfamiliar with Miller’s story, he was basically Clayton Kershaw before Clayton Kershaw was. He made it to AA in 2003 as an 18 year old, and was completely dominating in his 4 starts, putting up a 40/7 K/BB ratio. In Double A. At 18. He blew out his arm soon after that and hasn’t been the same since (a more indepth profile can be found over at FireNedCollettiNow from a few days ago). Anyway, after one of the weirdest lines you’ll ever see last night (in one inning, he didn’t give up a hit – yet allowed 4 runs thanks to 3 walks and some lousy defense), he’s now up to a 7.21 ERA and is walking more than a man per inning. I hate to give up on a guy who’s only 23, but with control like that, he’s barely an AAA pitcher right now, and he’s using up a valuable 40-man spot. This is definitely a situation that will need to be reviewed in the offseason.

Speaking of the 40 man roster, Tony Jackson discusses who might be called up when rosters expand on September 1st:

With apparently none of the Dodgers’ minor-league affiliates looking like they’ll be playoff bound, the team’s September callups should start arriving on Sept. 2, the second day of the upcoming homestand. It looks like A.J. Ellis will be coming up from Vegas to be the third catcher. He is hitting .309 this year, so he’ll edge out Lucas May, who is hitting .228 at Jacksonville, even though May is on the 40-man roster and Ellis isn’t. Although I have long been under the impression that James McDonald was a lock for a callup, that apparently is still being discussed and is far from assured. But it looks like Ellis will be the only guy not presently on the roster who will be called up. Dodgers don’t have a lot of flexibility. The 40-man is full, and there aren’t a lot of guys on it whom you can look at and say, “He’s expendable.”

When you’ve still got guys like Sturtze and Mark Sweeney on the roster, I don’t think it’s that hard to find guys to dump, but Jackson isn’t wrong about the tight roster situation, especially with all of the guys on the DL. But just to get Ellis on the 40-man, here’s an idea. You figure that Chin-Lung Hu or Blake DeWitt or both will likely be called up to add infield depth (DeWitt’s been playing mostly 2B in the minors lately), plus you hope to get back Rafael Furcal at some point. Once you get Hu and DeWitt up, there’s absolutely no need for both Angel Berroa and Pablo Ozuna, not that there’s really much of a need for either one right now. Hell, bring up both Hu and DeWitt, and DFA both Berroa and Ozuna. You keep the same amount of bodies in the middle infield, you immeasurably improve your infield defense, hopefully improve the offense too, and free up two roster spots on the 40-man. Makes sense, right?

Finally, I hate to get nit-picky and point out mistakes for the sake of it, but come on, Bill Shaikin:

Blake, who turned 35 Saturday, has stabilized third base for the Dodgers and said he had not ruled out returning to Los Angeles. When the Indians traded him, he said, they told him they hoped to offer him a contract this winter, to return to what was the only major league club he had known.

“The only major league club he had known”? I knew off the top of my head that Blake came up with Toronto and also saw some time in Minnesota; upon looking it up, I found that he played in Baltimore too. It may have been only 112 at-bats over 4 seasons, but still, you’re the Los Angeles Times. Do a little research, would you? He’d played for three other MLB clubs, so that makes you look pretty bad.

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg