Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Dodgers plan to give call-ups long look
By Tony Jackson
SAN DIEGO -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre said before Tuesday night's game with the San Diego Padres that he planned to give several of the team's September call-ups a long look for future reference.
"We're going to look at some people, and see what we see, basically," Torre said. "These last  games, we're trying to get an idea of what is there."
Asked if that means that Dodgers have shifted their mind-set from clinging to whatever hope remains to focusing on the future, Torre said no.
"Not yet," he said. "We're playing [the first-place Padres], so obviously, we need to go out and still play hard. I still think it's time, whether it's off the bench or starting, to take a look at some of these guys. But just because you decide to play John Lindsey or Russell Mitchell, that doesn't mean you're not thinking about winning ballgames."
The Dodgers began the day trailing the Padres by nine games in the National League West and the Philadelphia Phillies by 9 1/2 in the wild-card race with five teams ahead of them.
Torre fielded his regular lineup on Tuesday night.
Dodgers get Aussie influence
As expected, the Dodgers purchased the contract of outfielder Trent Oeltjen from Triple-A Albuquerque, making him the first Australian-born player on the Dodgers' active roster since Luke Prokopec pitched for them in 2000 and 2001.
The Dodgers signed Oeltjen, 27, to a minor league contract on July 6, four days after he exercised an escape clause in his minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
"I had an out for July 1," Oeltjen said. "I was still in Triple-A at the time ... and at that time, they didn't have any openings and weren't making any changes. So I decided just to try my luck with somebody else, and luckily, the Dodgers brought me over. They said they would love to have me and that they had been watching me for a couple of years."
Oeltjen said no promises were made of a big league call-up at that time, but he played so well at Triple-A Albuquerque, hitting .347 with a .416 on-base percentage in 49 games, that he almost forced his way to the majors when the active roster expanded for September.
Oeltjen, who was a bat boy for the U.S. in the gold-medal game at the 2000 Olympics, lives in Sydney and said he plans to play this winter in the new Australian Baseball League, which is partially funded by Major League Baseball and provides an additional option for players looking to play winter ball. Most players who participate in winter ball do so in either Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic.
Loney nominated for Clemente award
For the second time in the past three seasons, James Loney is the Dodgers' nominee for the annual Roberto Clemente Award, for which each of the 30 clubs nominates one player. The award is given to a major league player who combines community outreach with outstanding skills on the field.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.