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Inside Baseball

The Bottom Half

July 01, 2007|Peter Yoon

OFF THE WALL

Looking back

* The laid-back, San Diego image might be in for a change after the Padres made two trades in a week that brought volatile personalities to "America's Finest City." Michael Barrett and Milton Bradley, both of whom have had well-publicized on-field outbursts, are now Padres. Perhaps the team is hoping that if they fight, they fight each other. "Hopefully it's low risk and high reward," General Manager Kevin Towers said. Bradley is expected to join the Padres today. Barrett made his Padres debut June 21.

Looking ahead

* Saturday is Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium and the club will honor the 30th anniversary of the 1977 team that defeated the Dodgers in six games for the World Series title. Among those scheduled to appear is Reggie Jackson, who hit three consecutive home runs in Game 6 of that series -- part of the lore that earned him the nickname "Mr. October." Graig Nettles, Chris Chambliss and Ron Guidry are also expected to attend. The Yankees play the Angels after the Old Timers Game.

It's a fact

* As the season neared the midway point, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' pitching staff was leading the American League in strikeouts with 559 entering Saturday's play, but was last in the league with a 5.56 earned-run average. No team in AL history has done that for an entire season.

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MINOR LEAGUE REPORT

DODGERS IN THE MINORS

DELWYN YOUNG, OF

Las Vegas; triple A

Young, a fourth-round pick from Santa Barbara College in 2002, was a late-season call-up last year, getting five at-bats, but he is batting .324 with 12 home runs and 57 runs batted in this season and is a Pacific Coast League All-Star. He leads the league with 29 doubles and is among the top 10 in batting, RBIs and runs scored with 57. All-Star teams are nothing new to Young, who made All-Star teams at Class A and double A as a second baseman in 2003 and 2004. He was converted to outfield last season and responded by leading the Dodgers' minor league affiliates with 98 RBIs and has shown good power even though he is only 5 feet 8. He has 97 home runs in 650 games.

JONATHAN MELOAN, P

Jacksonville; double A

One of the top relief-pitching prospects in baseball, Meloan, 22, was a fifth-round selection from Arizona in 2005. A converted starter, he leads the Southern League with 16 saves. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound right-hander is 5-2 with a 2.11 earned-run average and landed on the Southern League All-Star team. He has drawn comparisons to current Dodgers setup man Jonathan Broxton because of his build and his strikeout ability. Meloan has 58 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings. With 13 walks issued, control is a small issue and that's probably the reason he's still at double A, but opponents are batting only .159 against him. Before this season, he had 145 strikeouts in 91 innings at four minor league stops.

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