Thursday, July 15, 2010
Sherrill considering his next move
By Tony Jackson
ST. LOUIS -- Los Angeles Dodgers reliever George Sherrill said Thursday he will wait until he has a chance to talk to his agent, his wife and his parents before making a decision on whether he will accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Albuquerque after the veteran left-hander learned a day earlier the club had put him on irrevocable waivers.
"[Team officials] told me yesterday that it had happened and that it had gotten out [through the media]," Sherrill said. "I already knew it because I had a bunch of voicemails and text messages asking me what was going on. I didn't know what to tell them. I'll just play it out and see what happens."
Major League Baseball's waiver wire generally is one of the most well-kept secrets in the industry, with the threat of fines from the league office if leaks can be traced. But occasionally, such information does trickle out, usually before the player involved or his agent is even aware.
Sherrill is almost certain to clear waivers, not only because he has a 7.32 ERA in 34 appearances this season and has never really been able to repeat his normal delivery with any consistency, but also because any team claiming him would be responsible for what is left of his $4.5 million guarantee for this season.
Because outright waivers are irrevocable, the Dodgers would automatically lose Sherrill if another club claimed him. But the team's preference, judging by a conversation Sherrill said he had with club officials last weekend, is for him to remain in the organization, accept an assignment to Albuquerque and work on his mechanics there.
"We talked about that," Sherrill said. "It just depends. You can tell me it's only going to be for a few days or whatever, but you just never know. If I go down there and just do OK, I'm stuck. If I go down and look like I'm finding it, I could still be stuck, especially if the team rattles off eight [wins] in a row."
Back in the groove
Manager Joe Torre said he never balked at going ahead with a mandatory, early-afternoon workout Thursday despite temperatures in the mid to upper 90s and a strength-sapping, relative humidity of around 60 percent.
"I just needed to give them a reason to get out of bed," Torre said. "Not that they were literally in bed. Three days off is something unheard of. In the past, we used to work out on Wednesday [during the break]. ... Coming out here early on the day you start the second half is still better than coming out the day before, so it's an easy tradeoff for these guys."
Clayton Kershaw, who was scheduled to start the game, and the Dodgers' four All-Stars -- relievers Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo, shortstop Rafael Furcal and right fielder Andre Ethier -- all were excused from the workout. Torre said Broxton and Kuo showed up anyway, leading to a lighter moment during pitchers' fielding practice.
Kuo, whose throwing error led to the only American League run in Tuesday night's 3-1 National League victory in the All-Star Game, was the first pitcher to field a ball during practice. Torre said Kuo then received an ovation from his teammates when he made a perfect throw to first base.
Torre said Ethier, who played center field for the first time since college when he started there in the All-Star Game, is the team's backup center fielder with Reed Johnson on the DL. But Torre indicated he still hoped to avoid that situation, so regular center fielder Matt Kemp figures to play every inning of every game -- something he has done for most of the season anyway -- until Johnson returns. ... Torre said James McDonald remains the odds-on favorite to be recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque and take over the fifth spot in the rotation when it comes up on Monday night against San Francisco, but that it hasn't been made official yet. However, Torre did say McDonald has been scratched from his scheduled start for the Isotopes on Friday against Round Rock in anticipation of the callup.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.