Dodgers call up power-hitting prospect Jerry Sands

According to Ken Gurnick at, outfield prospect Jerry Sands has been called up from Triple-A Albuquerque and Xavier Paul has been designated for assignment.

Sands, 23, is in the Dodgers’ starting lineup for tonight’s game against Atlanta, playing left field and batting seventh. He was hitting .400 (10 for 40) with five home runs and 17 RBIs at Albuquerque.

As the organization’s position player of the year last year, Sands hit 35 home runs between Class A Great Lakes and Double-A Chattanooga.

Paul, 26, was hitting .273 (3 for 11) with no home runs or RBIs while trying to find playing time behind Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Marcus Thames and Tony Gwynn Jr.

Furcal on the DL; De Jesus called up

Another season, another trip to the disabled list for Rafael Furcal.
The Dodgers shortstop has been placed on the 15-day disabled list after breaking his left thumb while sliding headfirst into third base during a 6-1 win over the San Francisco Giants
on Monday night.
Furcal, 33, is expected to miss about four to six weeks.
The Dodgers recalled rookie infielder Ivan De Jesus, who started the season in Los Angeles but went went 0 for 7 with five strikeouts, from Triple-A Albuquerque. De Jesus was sent down last Tuesday when third baseman Casey Blake came off the disabled list.
Furcal, who was batting just .192 from the leadoff spot, is returning to Los Angeles to get examined by a hand specialist.
He missed about two months last season with injuries to his lower back and right thigh.
Furcal, who is making $12 million this season, is in the final year of a three-year, $30 million contract. The Dodgers hold a $12 million option for next season, but it becomes guaranteed if Furcal reaches 600 plate appearances.

Is Manny a Hall of Famer?

Does Manny Ramirez belong in Cooperstown?
Or is his legacy tainted by what appears to be two positive drug tests?
Some of Ramirez’ numbers to consider:

  • His .312 batting average is 87th all-time.

  • His .411 on-base percentage ranks him 32nd.
  • He finishes ninth with a .585 slugging percentage.
  • What’s more, his .996 career OPS ranks ninth all-time.
  • He’s 14th all-time with 555 homers, 18th with 1,831 RBIs.
  • His 21 grand slams puts him just two behind leader Lou Gehrig.
  • No one has hit more postseason homers than his 29 shots.

So what say you? Comment away …

Manny just being Manny

According to The Associated Press, Tampa Bay slugger Manny Ramirez tested positive for a banned substance for the second time and informed Major League Baseball on Friday that he is retiring rather than face a 100-game suspension.
A person familiar with the events that led to the announcement confirmed to The Associated Press that Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the nature of Ramirez’ issue with MLB’s drug policy was not publicly disclosed.
Less than two years ago, Ramirez served a 50-game suspension for violating the drug policy while with the Dodgers. At the time, Ramirez tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin, a banned female fertility drug often used to mask steroid use.
Second-time violators get double that penalty, so Ramirez was probably looking at a 100-game sitdown.
“Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” the commissioner’s office released in a statement. “Rather than continue with the process under the Program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed.”
MLB said it would have no further comment.
In 18-plus seasons, Ramirez was a .312 hitter with 555 home runs. Whether his recent troubles with positive drug tests will taint what was once an inevitable nomination to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown remains to be seen.

Dodgers’ 25-man roster set

The Dodgers have announced their Opening Day roster for the 2011 championship season. As far as injuries go, they placed catcher Dioner Navarro, third baseman Casey Bake and pitchers Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 22. Outfielder Jay Gibbons was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 26.

The Dodgers are carrying 11 position players — including three catchers — and 14 pitchers. A fifth starter won’t be needed until April 10, so look for a position player to probably get sent down by then.

As for today’s starting lineup against the World series champion San Francisco Giants, veteran Jamey Carroll will get the nod at second base after speculation all week that rookie Ivan De Jesus Jr. would start.

The 25-man roster, as broken down by position:

Pitchers (11):
Chad Billingsley
Jonathan Broxton
Lance Cormier
Matt Guerrier
Blake Hawksworth
Kenley Jansen
Clayton Kershaw (L)
Hong-Chih Kuo (L)
Hiroki Kuroda
Ted Lilly (L)
Mike MacDougal

Catchers (3):
Rod Barajas
A.J. Ellis
Hector Gimenez (S)

Infielders (6):
Jamey Carroll
Ivan De Jesus
Rafael Furcal (S)
Aaron Miles (S)
James Loney (L)
Juan Uribe

Outfielders (5):
Andre Ethier (L)
Tony Gwynn, Jr. (L)
Matt Kemp
Xavier Paul (L)
Marcus Thames

Dodgers trade for Ronnie Belliard

The Dodgers have acquired infielder Ronnie Belliard from the Nationals in exchange for minor leaguer Luis Garcia and a player to be named later.
Belliard, 34, has hit .346/.406/.600 in August while platooning at second base for the Nats.
Garcia, 22, has posted a 2.92 ERA in 34 relief appearances this season for the Class-A Great Lakes Loons.

Postgame: Dodgers 2, Cubs 0

The Dodgers beat the Cubs today 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. For a full recap and boxscore click here.


Charlie Haeger simply shut the down the Cubs today, going 7+ scoreless innings and earning his first win with the Dodgers. He allowed only three hits and four walks.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ two runs came on solo jacks from Matt Kemp and Casey Blake. Kemp’s homer, a huge shot to left, came in the second inning, and Blake’s was in the fourth.

Interestingly, Jonathan Broxton — who’s posted a 3.86 ERA in August — pitched the eighth, and George Sherrill pitched the ninth. Sherrill was a bit shaky in the ninth, but got the job done in his first save opportunity as a Dodger. He’s still yet to give up a run since he was acquired.


In the eighth inning, Matt Kemp lost a fly ball while playing right field. It was ruled a double, and it put runners on second and third with one out for Aramis Ramirez, but Broxton shut the door.

Haeger threw more fastballs today then the two he threw in his first start, but he still made his living with the knuckler. It’d be hard to not give him another go after that performance.

The Rockies and Giants play at 5 p.m. If Colorado wins, they’ll stay just 4.5 games back of the Dodgers.


The Dodgers try to sweep the four-game set with the Cubs, sending Chad Billingsley (12-6, 3.70) against Ryan Dempster (6-7, 4.28).

Postgame: Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 3 (10 innings)

The Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 4-3 tonight in 10 innings. For a full recap and boxscore click here.


The big story for the Dodgers tonight was what happened to starter Hiroki Kuroda. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Arizona pinch-hitter Rusty Ryal lined a 2-2 pitch right back at Kuroda’s right temple, and the 34-year-old righthander went down immediately. He did move, however, and CAT scans taken after the game at St. Joseph’s Hospital were negative.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers held a 3-1 lead into the ninth but closer Jonathan Broxton allowed back-to-back homers — only his third and fourth homers allowed of the season — to blow the save.

The Blue couldn’t put anything together offensively in the tenth, and the D’Backs came back with a perfectly executed bottom half of the inning off of Ramon Troncoso to get the win. Augie Ojeda singled, Dan Haren bunted him to second, and after two walks, Gerardo Parra hit a walk-off single.


The Dodgers took a 3-0 lead, but Ryal’s hit — ruled a ground-rule double — sparked the first run for the D’Backs. From there, the L.A. offense wasn’t the same, with only two hits.

Hong-Chih Kuo and George Sherrill both feasted on an Arizona lineup that was incredibly left-handed in scoreless seventh and eighth innings. The 1-7 hitters in the D’Backs order were lefties.

Offensively, Brad Ausmus had an RBI single in the second, Doug Davis threw a pick-off away in the fifth to score Rafael Furcal, and Mark Loretta hit a sac fly to bring in Casey Blake in the sixth inning.

Matt Kemp didn’t have a hit but still wreaked havoc on the basepaths, reaching base via walk in the tenth inning and stealing second and third.


Randy Wolf (6-6, 3.43) tries to salvage a game for the Dodgers against Arizona’s Yusmeiro Petit (2-6, 5.87) tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Breaking: Hiroki Kuroda hit in the head by line drive

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Arizona pinch-hitter Rusty Ryal. Ryal, replacing D’Backs starter Doug Davis, hit a 2-2 pitch right back up the middle. Kuroda reacted violently to the ball and hardly moved while on the ground. Ryal appeared apologetic; among notable Dodger reactions included 21-year-old lefthander Clayton Kershaw, who looked legitimately shocked. Eventually, a car came to take Kuroda away and James McDonald replaced him. We’ll know more later.