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DODGERS FYI

Kent is activated, as a pinch-hitter

September 21, 2008|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

Two and a half weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery for torn cartilage in his left knee, second baseman Jeff Kent has been activated by the Dodgers.

He will be on the bench solely to pinch-hit over the final week of the regular season, Manager Joe Torre said. Kent won't play in the field and, if he gets on base, the manager will use a pinch-runner.

If Kent, who went on the disabled list Aug. 30, was going to try playing second, he might have first been sent down to the instructional league for a few days to test the knee.

"With the way we are situated now," Torre said, "I'm perfectly happy with Blake DeWitt [at second] and Casey Blake [at third]. This is very unique. Someone 40 years old has surgery and, after two and half weeks, you put him back on the active list. That's unheard of."

What happens after next Sunday? Will Kent be on the postseason roster if the Dodgers make the playoffs?

"We don't know where he'll be physically at that point in time," Torre said. "We'll have to wait and see."

Torre doesn't like to talk about the postseason roster or even if there will be a postseason for the Dodgers, though they sit atop the NL West.

"Whether it's superstition or not," he said, "I don't get myself prepared to go to a party that might be canceled."

No Penny in his thoughts

Right-hander Brad Penny is "out of the mix," probably for the season, according to Torre.

Penny, who has been bothered by tightness in his throwing shoulder all season, received a cortisone shot in the sore area Friday.

He has been on the disabled list twice because of the ailment, missing a total of 72 games.

Penny (6-9, 6.27 earned-run average) has made two appearances since coming off the DL, giving up three runs in a total of one inning of work.

"It's tough," said Torre. "There's still not a lot of comfort there. He hasn't pitched, so for me to say that if we get there [to the playoffs], he would be a part of it, it would be tough to say yes based on the amount of activity he's had."

Penny said he's not ready to declare this season over.

How much would you pay?

EBay is offering a signed baseball the owner claims is the one Juan Pierre hit for a home run in Pittsburgh last week, his first homer in 281 games and 1,166 plate appearances. Asking price: $10,000.

The owner of the ball says on EBay's website that he is selling it because he needs "money for season tickets next season."

Pierre said he was unaware of the auction and has no idea where the ball is.

Short hops

The Dodgers have two outfielders in double figures in assists (Matt Kemp, 14; Andre Ethier, 11) for the first time in 30 seasons. The last pair to reach double digits were Dusty Baker (14) and Derrel Thomas (10) in 1979. Before that, the Dodgers achieved the distinction in 1962 with Frank Howard (19) and Willie Davis (13). . . . Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, whose 81st birthday is Monday, was honored at home plate before the game.

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steve.springer@latimes.com

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