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John Ely keeps solidifying spot on Dodgers

Rookie pitcher comes up with another solid effort in win against Detroit Tigers.

May 22, 2010|By Baxter Holmes

Dodgers Manager Joe Torre evoked a Yogism after John Ely won his third straight start in the Dodgers' 6-4 win over Detroit on Saturday.

"He's certainly, as Yogi would say, making himself necessary," Torre said, speaking of Hall of Fame New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra.

That seems the case for Ely, who was called up May 10 and has been brilliant. His latest outing: two runs in six innings.

Even with clamor by some Dodgers fans that management should go after Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt, who recently asked to be traded, it seems as though Ely has entrenched himself in the starting rotation.

Does the 24-year-old think he has earned his keep?

"I'm trying to," Ely said. "I'm really, to be honest with you, just going day to day and trying to focus on each start as it comes. Whatever happens, happens."

Furcal watch

Shortstop Rafael Furcal completed an extended spring training game at Camelback Ranch Phoenix and could be activated Sunday against Detroit.

"He was good," Torre said. "He had five at-bats, even bunted. The only thing we wait for [Sunday] is to see how his body feels."

If Furcal, who has been out since injuring his left hamstring April 27 in New York, isn't activated Sunday, it's likely that Torre will wait until after the Dodgers' day off Monday and put Furcal back in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game in Chicago.

Trainer Stan Conte watched Furcal in Arizona and Torre said Furcal "played good enough to convince everybody … that it was a good test. Conditioning wise, I don't think it's going to be an issue for him to play nine innings."

To make room on the roster when Furcal returns, infielder Nick Green could be returned to the minor leagues if he clears waivers, but Torre said there are other options as well.

"Well, you've got Green, who came up, and you've got [Blake] DeWitt, who has an option," Torre said. "DeWitt's done well, no question. It's just a matter of what road you want to take for the immediate future."

Transformed Ramirez

The "Manny Being Manny" saying has faded these days.

Torre said that outfielder Manny Ramirez isn't as goofy as he used to be because of injuries and last season's 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy.

"Manny, he's been beat up a little bit," Torre said. "Last year, that knocked him through a loop. I thought he put a lot of pressure on himself and it wasn't as much fun. And this year … he's getting himself back to being that player. It's not that he didn't work when he was goofing around. I think it's just his goal now to be a consistent hitter."

Ethier progressing

Outfielder Andre Ethier, sidelined because of a broken pinkie, is progressing faster than expected and is hitting on a tee.

They've managed

Before the game, Tigers Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson joined Torre and current Tigers Manager Jim Leyland on the field for a photo. Among the three of them, they've managed their teams to nearly 6,000 wins and eight World Series championships.

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