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Dodgertown on Hurricane Watch

September 05, 2004|Jason Reid | Times Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS — The Dodgers took appropriate steps to protect Dodgertown, their sprawling spring training facility in Vero Beach, Fla., against Hurricane Frances, team officials said Saturday.

"We have hurricane procedures that we update every year," said Craig Callan, vice president of Dodgertown and minor league facilities.

"Everyone knows in advance what needs to be done on their end, and all of the employees have done that."

Callan said he ordered the evacuation of Dodgertown on Wednesday, sending home 178 of 180 employees. Only Callan and one of his top assistants remained at the site. A group renting the facility's conference center cut short an event that had been scheduled to end Friday.

The Dodgers in 2002 built a $5.5-million complex that houses the team during the exhibition season.

"I'm optimistic that we've done everything we possibly can," Callan said. "But it is a very dangerous storm, and it all depends on if we take a direct hit or not. It depends on how close we are to the eye of the storm."


Odalis Perez still hopes to make his next scheduled start Wednesday against Arizona despite lingering biceps soreness in his pitching arm.

The left-hander was examined Friday in St. Louis and said Saturday he was cleared to resume throwing. Perez played catch Saturday and is scheduled for a bullpen session today.

"There is no concern about my arm," said Perez, 6-4 with a 3.16 earned-run average in 26 starts.

"The doctor checked the whole thing and there's no pain at all, I just wasn't feeling comfortable. I don't want to push and rush it, and then miss the rest of the season. I don't want to do that."

If Perez cannot start Wednesday, Tracy said he would shuffle the rotation to have Jose Lima start on normal rest.


Outfielder Milton Bradley rejoined the team after returning to the Southland on Friday to attend the funeral of his grandfather, Joseph Bradley.

Tracy held out Bradley, the everyday No. 3 batter, from the starting lineup.

"Milton will be back in the lineup tomorrow, but I was concerned with what he has just gone through with the death of his grandfather," Tracy said. "And with the number of miles that we've already logged on this trip, and the fact that he did an extra leg of it by going back to L.A. and flying back to St. Louis, my main concern is his body not responding correctly in game situations and he ends up hurting himself."


Tracy said pitcher Brad Penny would need several appearances to build stamina if the right-hander recovers from a nerve problem in his pitching arm this season.

Penny continued his throwing program, but there is still no timetable for him to throw off a mound. The minor league regular seasons end Monday, so there's not enough time for Penny to start a rehabilitation program with triple-A Las Vegas.

The Class-A Vero Beach Dodgers, who have qualified for the Florida State League playoffs, could provide an option, but it's not clear when, or if, Penny would be able to pitch again.

Penny probably would work out of the bullpen if he is activated before the regular season ends and there are no minor league affiliates playing.

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