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DODGERS REPORT

Perez Struggling in Minors

April 12, 2001|JASON REID

PHOENIX — Carlos Perez struggled in his first two starts for triple-A Las Vegas and must show improvement soon.

Perez is 0-1, has given up 13 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) in nine innings and has not had good velocity on his fastball.

General Manager Kevin Malone is still supportive of the left-hander, Chairman Bob Daly is following Malone's lead and the Dodgers have more than three weeks to make a decision.

However, despite the $7.5 million Perez is guaranteed in the final season of a three-year, $15.6-million contract, Manager Jim Tracy on Wednesday reaffirmed the organization's commitment to having the best team possible.

Tracy said he hopes Perez reverts to his pre-1999 form and prompts the club to put him on the roster, but the team is the focus.

"We're trying to give this guy the amount of time that he needs to do everything he can to get back to what he was," Tracy said. "You've got to allow a time frame in there in order for him to be able to do that without him feeling like if this [start] isn't going good right here . . . I don't think that that's fair to him.

"I also think the individual himself has to start to get to the point where he becomes very aware of the fact that, and being realistic with himself and saying, 'I've got to get these guys out here.' You've got to make a statement because if you're not doing it [in the minors] at some point, how can you convince anyone to think that you're going to be able to walk up there and get major league hitters out?"

Perez can become a free agent May 5 if he is not on the 25-man roster. Even if he had pitched well for Las Vegas, there is no room for him in the Dodger rotation or bullpen.

Derrick Hall, senior vice president, said the Dodgers are in no rush to make a decision.

"We made it clear that we wanted to see how Carlos responded to his [shoulder] surgery, and in order to do that there must be a thorough rehabilitation process," said Hall, speaking on behalf of Daly. "That is what is currently taking place, and the organization never expected Carlos to throw complete games and shutouts in his first two outings."

But at what point does Perez's performance become paramount?

"Well, I would say maybe the first couple of times you're not looking quite as closely at that," Tracy said. "As you go along, you obviously have to start taking a closer look at it.

"But I don't want to sit here making statements where Carlos feels like it's now or else. That's not the way it's being looked at."

Perez is 7-18 with a 6.28 earned-run average in the majors since 1999, and 3-4 with a 6.51 ERA in the minors.

"Carlos has certainly traveled a bumpy road in his tenure in Los Angeles," Hall said. "However, Dodger fans would be able to accept Carlos if he is fully healthy and capable of pitching the way he did when we first acquired him."

DODGERS'

ANDY ASHBY

(1-0, 5.40 ERA)

vs.

DIAMONDBACKS'

ARMANDO REYNOSO

(0-1, 14.54 ERA)

Bank One Ballpark, 6:30

TV--Channel 5. Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

* Update--Ashby defeated the Diamondbacks, 7-5, in his Dodger debut April 5 at Dodger Stadium. Ashby is 0-4 with a 7.43 ERA in four starts at Bank One Ballpark. Reynoso struggled in his first outing, giving up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings in the St. Louis Cardinals' 12-9 victory.

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