Like several players from the Dominican Republic this winter, a discrepancy in a birth certificate caused visa problems for pitcher Odalis Perez, who arrived in camp Sunday afternoon and will join the Dodgers for workouts today.
But Perez, acquired with Brian Jordan from Atlanta in January's Gary Sheffield trade, was not found to be two or three years older or younger than his listed age of 23; he was only five days younger.
"I was born June 11, 1978, but when the Braves did my contract, they made a mistake and used June 6," Perez said. "Even though it was only a five-day difference, I had to get a new passport and birth certificate, and that took a week."
Perez, who will compete with Omar Daal and Eric Gagne for the fifth rotation spot, won't be set back by his late arrival; the left-hander started 17 games for his Dominican Winter League team, including two in the recently completed Caribbean World Series, and has already built up plenty of arm strength and endurance.
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Dodger pitchers Kevin Brown and Andy Ashby--both injury-plagued in 2001--combined for 35 wins as teammates with the San Diego Padres in 1998. A look at some selected statistics their last three seasons:
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