Dodger Thoughts: Claudio Vargas
Manny Ramirez is alive! He took batting practice at Dodger Stadium tonight and is close to a rehab assignment. Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.
Rafael Furcal felt tightness and will be held back from starting a rehab assignment for at least a couple more days.
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Question: Are the Rockies more disappointing than the Dodgers this season, less or the same?
Related: Bob Timmermann explores "The Dodgers in 2010: The Year of Crabbiness" at L.A. Observed's Native Intelligence.
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- Zach Lee is expected to make an appearance at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, the team said.
- Lou Gehrig might not have had Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), reports Alan Schwarz in a fascinating New York Times article.
- Josh Wilker has a fine piece about Mickey Rivers today at Cardboard Gods.
- Remember Brent Mayne, he of the last Dodger catching tandem that couldn't hit straight before this one? Mayne has a blog and an interesting post about ballplayers as social misfits. (via Hardball Talk).
- If it's an upset that the Padres are in first place and the Dodgers are in fourth, it's another upset that the Dodgers had a more satisfying 2010 draft than the Padres did. Paul DePodesta tells the story of what happened to leave San Diego's front office disappointed at It Might Be Dangerous ... You Go First.
- Claudio Vargas has been granted his release by Albuquerque, the Isotopes said.
- Former Dodger prospect Andrew Lambo has had his second setback of 2010 — a shoulder injury, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Sweet-hitting pitcher Micah Owings, whose career ERA and slugging percentage each start with the number five, has been designated for assignment by Cincinnati.
July, 3, 2010
The first move was expected, and the second move isn't too much of a surprise considering that Troncoso has seemed in need of a breather for a while now. Troncoso pitched two shutout innings Friday (32 pitches) and has not been scored upon in his past three appearances, so his being optioned might have more to do with providing a fresh arm to the bullpen following Hiroki Kuroda's early exit.
George Sherrill and Justin Miller, who have performed worse, remain on the team for now, because Troncoso has options and they don't.
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- Claudio Vargas pitched six shutout innings for Albuquerque against Pacific Coast League South Division leader Oklahoma City on Friday, allowing two baserunners and striking out seven batters in a row at one point.
- Blake Smith, a 22-year-old right fielder, went 4 for 6 with six RBI and one of the Loons' four homers in Great Lakes' 13-3 victory. Smith has an .858 OPS on the season. Catcher J.T. Wise, 24, had four hits and a walk. Josh Wall struck out 10 in seven innings.
- Minor-league reliever Hyang-Nam Choi, 39, was released from the Albuquerque roster last weekend, according to the Isotope press notes.
- Pinch-hitter in the making? Josh Lindblom is 6 for 14 at the plate this season for Albuquerque and 10 for 25 over the past two seasons with a walk and five strikeouts.
Placement on the bereavement list means that Furcal will miss from three to seven games.
All my sincerest condolences to Furcal.
Update: Furcal went to the Dominican Republic to see an ailing family member, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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- Nick Green opted out of his minor-league contract and became a free agent, reports Christopher Jackson of Albuquerque Baseball Examiner.
- Claudio Vargas returned to the Dodger organization, signing a minor-league contract with the Isotopes, whose pitching has been trashed by injuries, absences, promotions and demotions.
- Russ Mitchell homered twice and singled for Albuquerque on Wednesday, while Michael Restovich doubled, tripled and homered, and Xavier Paul and Ivan De Jesus, Jr. also each had three hits.
- Kyle Russell hit his first AA home run for Chattanooga, while Trayvon Robinson had three hits.
- Fred Claire has a nice story at MLB.com about Monte Irvin, who at age 91 will have his number retired by the Giants. Among other tidbits was this revelation:
... Irvin revealed that when he got out of the service in 1945 he signed a contract with the Dodgers.
"I had been selected by Branch Rickey to break the color barrier," said Irvin. "I had the talent and I was easy to get along with."
Irvin said that even though he had signed the contract with the Dodgers, he asked to return to play in the Negro Leagues "because I didn't want to go to the Major Leagues until I had my game back after three years in the service."
Irvin said a dispute developed over the contract between his Negro League team and the Dodgers, and he didn't get his opportunity in the Major Leagues until a deal was worked out with the Giants in 1949.
"Things have a way of working out and I'm just happy that I had the chance to play the game that I loved," he said.
- Matt Kemp's struggles get an analysis from Chad Moriyama of Memories of Kevin Malone.
- Second-round draft choice Ralston Cash is close to signing with the Dodgers, reports Bill Murphy of the Gainesville Times.
- Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven passes along a neat find: a 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers ticket order form. Get your box seats for $3 ...
- Here's a fun historical site: CalTrafficSigns.com (via Franklin Avenue).