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DODGERS FYI

Garciaparra gets well-timed break

September 01, 2008|Dylan Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

PHOENIX -- The reason Nomar Garciaparra missed his second consecutive game Sunday wasn't a physical problem, but because he was one for 20 lifetime against Diamondbacks starter Brandon Webb, Manager Joe Torre said.

But Garciaparra admitted that starting 14 of the Dodgers' 17 games from Aug. 12 to Friday was taking a toll on his 35-year-old body.

Noting that his spring training was cut short by a hand injury, Garciaparra said, "I'm trying to get my baseball legs. It's been difficult."

Garciaparra started the season on the disabled list and had to be sidelined two more times because of calf and knee problems.

Since being activated from his latest stint on the DL on Aug. 12, Garciaparra is hitting .167 (nine for 54).

"We've pushed him," Torre said. "We probably haven't mixed up enough off time for him."

Though Angel Berroa was six for 15 on the trip and has played well enough defensively to warrant more playing time in Torre's eyes, the manager said Garciaparra would remain the No. 1 shortstop because of his situational hitting ability.

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September call-ups

Major league rosters can expand to 40 players starting today. The first wave of call-ups from triple-A Las Vegas will consist of pitchers Eric Stults and James McDonald and outfielder Jason Repko. Outfielders Andruw Jones and Delwyn Young and pitcher Scott Proctor are expected to be activated from the disabled list.

Infielder Chin-lung Hu was recalled from Las Vegas on Sunday night to replace Jeff Kent, who was moved to the 15-day disabled list.

In the coming days, the Dodgers will also call up pitcher Clayton Kershaw and catcher A.J. Ellis from triple A. Kershaw is scheduled to start Tuesday's game for the Dodgers.

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In limbo

Reliever Tanyon Sturtze and infielder Pablo Ozuna, who were designated for assignment this week, returned with the team to Los Angeles in hopes of reclaiming spots on the crowded 40-man roster.

The Dodgers have 39 players on the 40-man roster and that doesn't include Proctor or Ellis. The extra space to accommodate both players will be opened up when closer Takashi Saito is moved to the 60-day disabled list.

If Kent also is transferred to the 60-day DL, that could clear a spot for Sturtze or Ozuna.

Sturtze, a 37-year-old right-hander who cleared waivers Sunday, said that if a place doesn't open up for him by today, he probably will return to his off-season home in Georgia.

Sturtze, who gave up no runs in three games with the Dodgers, was part of a bizarre scene Wednesday, as he was informed by Torre that he had been cut, only to be told minutes later to stay. He was designated for assignment the next day.

"It's baseball," said Sturtze, who hadn't pitched in the majors since undergoing shoulder surgery two years ago. "That happens. . . . It's definitely disappointing. I thought I was throwing the ball well."

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Ardoin's anxiety

Danny Ardoin's mind was more than 1,000 miles away from Chase Field Sunday, as Hurricane Gustav moved toward the backup catcher's home state of Louisiana. Ardoin said his wife and four children decided to remain in their house in Ville Platte, which is more than two hours northwest of New Orleans.

"My wife and I talked about them flying out to L.A., but she felt they could be all right," Ardoin said. "The worst part will be the aftermath. There might not be any electricity or water."

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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