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DODGERS REPORT

Big Night for Drew Brothers

July 18, 2006|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

PHOENIX — Want to become a top draft pick? Turn off the television.

That's advice from the Drew brothers, the only family with three siblings drafted in the first round.

The oldest, J.D., played on the same field as his youngest brother, Stephen, for the first time in an organized game Monday. Middle brother Tim, a pitcher rehabilitating a shoulder injury, will join their parents in the stands tonight.

They'll watch a ballgame. Just not on television.

"We didn't have cable until I was 18, and we rarely watched any TV," J.D. said. "We played sports and spent our time outdoors."

J.D., the Dodgers' right fielder, is two years older than Tim, a right-hander in the Colorado Rockies organization, and nearly eight years older than Stephen, who made his debut as the Arizona Diamondbacks' shortstop Saturday and got his first hit Monday against Aaron Sele.

By the time Stephen began playing baseball, J.D. was in high school, so the only time they played together was in the yard of their Hahira, Ga., home.

"The last time we played together we used ghost runners," J.D. said.

All that backyard baseball developed skills that made all three Drews highly sought prospects. And eventually made them wealthy.

J.D. was the second overall pick in 1996 and refused to sign. He was taken fifth by St. Louis the next year and signed for $3 million. Tim was picked by Cleveland at the end of the first round in 1997 and signed for $1.6 million. Stephen was the 15th overall pick in 2004, signing for a guaranteed minimum $5.5 million one day before he would have gone back in the draft.

Money aside, the Drews were thrilled to be on the same field -- even if they were wearing different uniforms.

Stephen made outstanding plays on ground balls in the second and fourth innings, and J.D. ran down a long fly ball to end the fourth after Stephen had stolen third base.

"I was fired up," J.D. said. "You have the circumstance of him making his debut then playing four games against us. It's fun."

*

Third baseman Cesar Izturis' wife, Liliana, had a baby girl, Daniella, by cesarean section. Manager Grady Little said Izturis probably would rejoin the team Wednesday.... Brett Tomko (strained abdominal muscle) is scheduled to pitch to batters before Thursday's game and could begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment this weekend. The team hasn't decided whether to move him to the bullpen, but Little said a decision probably would be made before the rehab assignment begins.... Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo has moved to the starting rotation at triple-A Las Vegas. Kuo had two stints in the Dodgers' bullpen this season and has been a reliever since having two elbow ligament-replacement surgeries.... Outfielder Jason Repko, rehabbing an ankle sprain, is one for 13 at Las Vegas and had to get over chest pains a few days ago, but Little wants him with the Dodgers as soon as possible. "Jason was a big loss for this ballclub," he said. "We really felt it."

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