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DODGER REPORT

Tracy's Rotation Plans Flexible

September 15, 2003|Helene Elliott | Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers' final home stand of the season will resume Tuesday, with Kazuhisa Ishii scheduled to face Arizona. Odalis Perez and Wilson Alvarez are to face the Diamondbacks on Wednesday and Thursday, and Kevin Brown, Hideo Nomo and Ishii are scheduled to face the San Francisco Giants on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"There's two weeks left," Manager Jim Tracy said Sunday. "It's an eternity, with all the games left and Florida having [10] games left with the Phillies and Braves. That's a lot of baseball to play. A lot."

The Dodgers end the season with four games at San Diego and four at San Francisco, including a day-night doubleheader Sept. 27, the next-to-last day of the season. Should they tie for the wild-card playoff berth and play a one-game playoff, Tracy said Nomo probably would be the starter. If they win the berth outright, Nomo could instead pitch the division series opener.

"We sat down today and looked at our pitching and looked at how it plays itself out into San Francisco to look at the possible importance of those games," Tracy said. "Obviously, right now they loom very important and it's possible a couple of guys will pitch on three days' rest, and if we're involved in the postseason, how it would set itself up for the postseason."

Ever the optimist, Tracy set nothing in stone. "Who knows? We may have a lead to the point were we entertain the idea of [starting] Edwin Jackson," he said. "We're going to react to circumstances, is the best way to put it."

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Franklin Gutierrez and Greg Miller, the Dodgers' minor league player of the year and pitcher of the year, respectively, were honored before the game with the Branch Rickey award.

Miller, a graduate of Esperanza High in Anaheim, was 11-4 with a 2.49 earned-run average at Class-A Vero Beach before he was promoted to double-A Jacksonville. He was 1-1 with a 1.01 ERA in four starts there and was the league's youngest player, at 18.

Gutierrez, 20, hit .282 with 28 doubles, 20 home runs and 68 runs batted in in 110 games at Vero Beach before being promoted to Jacksonville. He hit .313 with three doubles, four home runs and 12 RBIs in 18 games there.

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There was no update on the status of pitcher Andy Ashby, who had tests on his troublesome right elbow last week but hasn't disclosed the results or authorized the club to issue a statement.

"This is between Dr. [Frank] Jobe and Andy," Tracy said. "They're discussing possibilities as far as the direction they're going to take.... He has the right to not divulge what's going on between he and Dr. Jobe."

Ashby, who will be a free agent after the season, isn't likely to pitch for the Dodgers again. The question is whether he will undergo a second arm surgery in two years at age 36 to try to prolong his career.

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