Dodgers sending 9 to fall league
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers will send nine players to this year's Arizona Fall League, eight of them to the Scottsdale-based Salt River Rafters and the other, Bishop Alemany High School and Loyola Marymount University product Angelo Songco, to the Surprise Sagauros.
The players going to the Rafters are newly acquired right-hander Stephen Fife, who came from the Boston Red Sox organization in a three-team trade in July that sent outfield prospect Trayvon Robinson to the Seattle Mariners; right-hander Steven Ames; lefty Cole St. Clair, a Santa Ana product; righty Josh Wall; catcher Gorman Erickson; infielder Jake Lemmerman; recently acquired outfielder Alex Castellanos, who came from St. Louis in last month's Rafael Furcal deal; and outfielder Kyle Russell.
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Songco and Russell are "taxi squad'' players, meaning they can play only on Wednesdays and Saturdays unless a need arises for them to play more.
Songco, the Dodgers' fourth-round pick in 2009, has had a breakout season at advanced Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He entered Tuesday night's game against High Desert hitting .310 with 43 doubles, 26 homers, 100 RBIs and a .361 on-base percentage.
Of the other eight players, all but Russell presently are with Double-A Chattanooga. Russell, the team's third-round pick in 2008, also was with the Lookouts until being promoted to Triple-A Albuquerque late last week.
There are no Dodgers minor league coaches involved in the AFL this year, but Yosuke "Possum'' Nakajima, the trainer for Chattanooga, will serve as one of two trainers for the Rafters, who will play their home games at the new spring training facility of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies on the Salt River-Pima Indian Reservation.
The AFL consists of six teams, all of them based in the Phoenix metro area, and players sent there generally are considered among each organization's top prospects. Each AFL team will have players from five different major league organizations, and each player wears the big league uniform of his own organization, meaning as many as 10 different big league uniforms can be represented on the field at any given time during a game.
This year's AFL season opens on Oct. 4, with the Rising Stars Game -- a sort of AFL All-Star Game, if you will -- set for Nov. 5 at Surprise Stadium. The 2011 AFL Championship Game will be played on Nov. 19 at Scottsdale Stadium.
Meanwhile, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he was working on one possible move in advance of Wednesday's secondary trading deadline for players, but understandably, he offered no details as to who might be involved. However, one player who has been the subject of widespread speculation, both at the non-waiver deadline a month ago and again now, is utility infielder Jamey Carroll, who was claimed off waivers by several clubs.
Even if a player is claimed off waivers, he still can be traded to the team that secures the waiver claim. In Carroll's case, because he plays for a National League team, he couldn't be traded to an American League team if even one NL team claimed him. If he were claimed by multiple NL teams, the team securing the claim would be the one with the worst record among the teams that claimed him.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.