Reporting from Denver — —
Put up the numbers and you will get your chance, or so they say.
John Lindsey, the first baseman for the Dodgers' triple-A Albuquerque team, is putting up ridiculous numbers. He leads all of organized baseball with a .428 batting average and 1.198 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in 42 games. He hit a grand slam and drove in six runs Saturday, giving him nine home runs and 40 runs batted in.
"I haven't seen anything like that for so long," said pitcher Justin Miller, a teammate for seven weeks. "He's hitting lefties, righties, curveballs, changeups, sliders. He's hitting it all. It's just amazing to see."
Lindsey, 33, has played in the minor leagues for 16 years. He has 4,905 at-bats in the minors, none in the majors. He signed at 18 but did not advance past Class A until he was 26 and did not hit triple A until he was 30.
At this stage of his career, he said, he hopes that his big numbers attract the attention of a Japanese team, the better to earn the kind of salary that could help provide financial security for his wife and3-year-old son. He still dreams, though.
"My dream is to play in the major leagues," he said, "even if it's just one at-bat."
He realizes he is not high on the Dodgers' depth chart. He did not get called up in 2007 or 2008, when he put up good numbers for the Dodgers in triple A. Yet he did not hesitate to sign with the Dodgers again last winter, with great respect for how the organization treats him as a person.
"If you're not going to be in the major leagues," he said, "you want to be in a place where you can enjoy yourself and where people appreciate you."
Vicente Padilla said he is not concerned that his reputation might be harmed by the domestic violence allegations brought against him Saturday.
An unidentified female friend of Padilla said he had slapped her, an allegation for which Denver police said there was no evidence to support criminal charges. David Lane, the attorney for Padilla, said the pitcher and the woman had gotten into an argument.
"I didn't really do anything," Padilla said through an interpreter. "I think my reputation would be damaged if I was arrested."
Padilla said he had done nothing wrong and therefore had "no sense of being relieved" that charges had not been filed.
"Nothing happened," he said. "If something happened, I would have been arrested."
The Matt Kemp action figures the Dodgers are giving away Thursday appear to depict him as a superhero.
"If I was a superhero, I'd be batting .700," Kemp said.
Garret Anderson wondered why Super Kemp would not bat 1.000.
"That would be too obvious," Kemp said.
The Dodgers remain in search of starting pitching but appear unlikely to pursue Dontrelle Willis. The Detroit Tigers designated Willis for assignment Sunday. … Andre Ethier, who is one home run shy of the league lead despite not playing since May 14, is expected to be activated Monday. … Charlie Haeger aggravated a toe injury in a rehabilitation start Saturday, so the Dodgers will keep rookie Carlos Monasterios in the rotation for now. … The Dodgers returned left-hander Scott Elbert to Albuquerque and recalled right-hander Travis Schlichting.