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Valdes Still Far From a Good Fit

August 29, 2000|JASON REID

The Dodgers reacquired pitcher Ismael Valdes because they could not get anyone better before the non-waiver trading deadline.

General Manager Kevin Malone tried, but other clubs had better prospects to package in deals for the top veteran starters.

The Dodgers acknowledged Valdes had struggled in his first season with the Chicago Cubs after they dumped him in December because of payroll concerns and questions about his desire.

Team officials hoped Valdes would revert to form in familiar surroundings, but that has not happened.

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 7.33 earned-run average in four starts in his second Dodger stint.

"Sometimes you do your best but [things] don't always work out the way you want," said Valdes, 2-6 with a 5.94 ERA overall. "You just have to keep working hard and try to help your team."

Valdes has given up 42 hits in only 27 innings, and opponents are batting .362 against him.

Scouts said Valdes' pitches have decreased in velocity and movement from last season--the same problems he had with the Cubs.

"Ismael hasn't . . . he just hasn't located well," Manager Davey Johnson said. "He's been up in the [strike] zone and making mistakes.

"When you're up, you're going to get hit. It's as simple as that."

The Dodgers are frustrated with Valdes, but they don't have many rotation options.

The fourth and fifth spots have been trouble all season, prompting Chairman Bob Daly and Malone to take a chance on Valdes despite his poor reputation.

Rookie right-hander Matt Herges has been better than Valdes in four starts, but Herges has returned to the bullpen because he is needed more in relief.

The Dodgers hoped triple-A pitchers Eric Gagne and Mike Judd would help, but both struggled in auditions.

Valdes, making $5.75 million, can become a free agent after the season. It appears he will not receive a multiyear deal, or return to the Dodgers next season.


The Dodgers will be represented today at Chicago in a criminal proceeding in connection with the May 16 melee at Wrigley Field. Attorney Mike Abernathy will attend a hearing scheduled for James Maness of Chicago, one of three men charged with disorderly conduct after a brawl between the Dodgers and fans in the stands. A total of 21 Dodgers, including Johnson and Malone, have been subpoenaed to testify in two criminal cases. Abernathy said the Dodgers are not required to attend the hearing because only oral arguments are scheduled, and the Dodger subpoenas do not pertain to Maness' case. . . . The Dodgers are expected to recall catcher Paul LoDuca and pitcher Onan Masaoka from triple-A Albuquerque, and pitcher Luke Prokopec from double-A San Antonio when rosters are expanded Friday. . . . Infielder Chris Donnels, on the disabled list because of a sore right shoulder, is expected to be activated. . . . Outfielder Bruce Aven was scratched from Monday's starting lineup because of a strained left oblique muscle. He is listed as day-to-day.




(13-8, 3.66 ERA)




(11-11, 4.81 ERA)

County Stadium, 5 PDT, Fox Sports Net 2

* Update--Park has a 1.76 ERA in his last four starts. The right-hander had a four-hit, 10-strikeout complete game Aug. 19 in a 4-1 victory over the New York Mets. He worked seven shutout innings, with seven strikeouts, Aug. 24 in a 7-0 victory over the Montreal Expos. Park is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA against the Brewers. Haynes is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA against the Dodgers. The right-hander pitched six innings Aug. 6 in a 9-6 victory at Dodger Stadium.

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