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Perez Hopes to Make Impression

June 28, 2006|Bill Shaikin

MINNEAPOLIS — Odalis Perez isn't demanding a trade, but he would be happy if the spot start he makes for the Dodgers today generates interest among other major league teams. With the Dodgers trading for Mark Hendrickson on Tuesday and exploring trades for other starters, they no longer appear to consider Perez a viable option for their starting rotation.

"We've been down that road enough," Manager Grady Little said. "I think he's valuable for us in the bullpen."

Perez, demoted to long relief and spot start duty last month, has a 2.45 earned-run average in seven relief outings and an 8.02 ERA in seven starts. He said he still considers himself a starter but reacted calmly to Tuesday's trade.

"If it makes the team better, perfect," he said. "I'm a major league pitcher. If this is not the team for me, there are 30 teams. I'm not going to ask for a trade. I want to pitch ... I want to start. If I don't get it here, why not go somewhere else and prove I can pitch?"

Hendrickson, 32, is 37-40 in his career, with a 5.01 earned-run average. Perez, 29, is 56-53 with a 4.18 ERA. He is in the second season of a three-year, $24-million contract, and the Dodgers found no interest when they tried to trade him earlier this year.

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