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The Bottom Line

July 15, 2007|Peter Yoon

Looking back

* The Atlanta Braves traded for relief pitcher Wilfredo Ledezma on June 20, let him go home to Venezuela for the All-Star break last week and are still waiting for him to return. In what General Manager John Schuerholz described as a "washing incident," Ledezma apparently left his passport in his pants pocket and tossed it in the washing machine, detaching and damaging his visa. He is stuck in Venezuela while awaiting replacements. The Braves put Ledezma on the restricted list.

It's a fact

* Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run home run Saturday, ending a 10-game home run drought for the Chicago Cubs. It was the team's longest stretch without a home run since it went 10 games from July 14-21 in 1988. Derrek Lee, who hit 46 homers two years ago, has only six this season and hasn't hit one since June 3. "Sooner or later they got to come," Manager Lou Piniella said of his team's homer scarcity.

Looking ahead

* Where, oh where will Barry Bonds hit home run No. 756 to set a new major league record? A glance at the Giants' upcoming schedule provides a few interesting possibilities for Bonds, who has 751: July 20-22 at Milwaukee, where Bud Selig lives and would have no excuse not to attend; July 24 at home against Atlanta to celebrate his 43rd birthday; July 29 at home against Florida, the day Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken are inducted into the Hall of Fame; July 31-Aug. 2 at Dodger Stadium.




Jacksonville, double A

Great things were expected from Concepcion after he tied the state high school record with 20 home runs at El Segundo High in 1999 and then became the Pacific 10 Conference player of the year at USC in 2002, but he's taken some time to develop in the minors. He was released by the Red Sox after 4 1/2 nondescript seasons in their farm system but has recently blossomed with the Dodgers. He is batting .293 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs. His previous professional high for home runs was six in 2005 and his high for RBIs was 52 during two stops in 2004. He hasn't batted better than .278 in a season. He hit for the cycle July 7 and was named the Southern League player of the week after posting consecutive four-hit games last week.


Rancho Cucamonga, Class A

A 6-foot-3 lefty, White had been overshadowed by more touted prospect Clayton Kershaw at Great Lakes, but it was White who earned the promotion to Rancho Cucamonga. He deserved it after going 4-0 with a 0.72 earned-run average and 19 strikeouts in 25 innings during June. White, 22, was 8-5 with a 2.48 ERA at Great Lakes. He had 63 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings and gave up 68 hits. Things haven't gone as well in his three starts at Rancho Cucamonga, where he is 0-1 with a 6.46 ERA, but he has given up only three earned runs over 10 2/3 innings in his last two starts. White, signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2004, was 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA out of the bullpen last season.

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