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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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The Competition
2003-02-24 10:02
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

LetÕs check in on whoÕs in, whoÕs out and whoÕs on the bubble among the 45 candidates for the Dodger 25-man roster. This includes my first look at some of the non-roster candidates.

Obviously, this could change with injuries or trades, but this gives us a baseline heading into the spring training opener Thursday.

Locks (21)
Starting Pitchers (4): Odalis Perez, Hideo Nomo, Andy Ashby, Kazuhisa Ishii

Bullpen (5): Eric Gagne, Paul Quantill, Paul Shuey, Giovanni Carrara, Guillermo Mota

Mystery Men (2): Kevin Brown, Darren Dreifort

Starting Lineup (8): Dave Roberts, Paul Lo Duca, Shawn Green, Brian Jordan, Fred McGriff, Adrian Beltre, Joe Thurston, Alex Cora

Bench (2): Mike Kinkade, Daryle Ward

So, there are four spots remaining Š either three bench players and one relief pitcher, or four bench players and no relievers. IÕll list the remaining possibilities in order of how likely I think it is theyÕll make it.

Most Likely to Succeed (4)
Todd Hundley, C/1B: With his power potential and the fact that he came a trade for Eric Karros, heÕs probably there. But you canÕt rule out the possibility that he could be truly miserable in Spring Training and could play himself off the team.

Cesar Izturis, SS: The fact that he signed a split contract, with a salary below the major league minimum if he is in the minor leagues, signals that the Dodgers might have realized the potential value of Alex Cora in the starting lineup. They might also think that a starting middle infield of Izturis and Thurston will be too green. (ItÕs hard to believe, but Cora is now a veteran Š heÕs now played 398 career games.) They might want Izturis to get full-time at-bats in Las Vegas, where heÕs never played, rather than have him become a utility player at such a young age - but the odds are that they think enough of him to shuttle him into the starting lineup.

David Ross, C: Three things could keep him off the team: 1) his injuries, 2) a great showing by a lefty reliever, 3) Hundley reveals heÕs had a secret arm transplant

Wilson Alvarez, LHP: Dan Evans seems to really want him to succeed as the Omar Daal replacement Š even though Darren Dreifort should fill that role. IÕm dubious, but in terms of making the roster, heÕs probably got enough to get spring training hitters out and make the move viable. If the Dodgers are healthy, a 12-man staff isnÕt necessary, but, you know É

Strong Shot (9)
Pedro Borbon, Jr., LHP: An experienced lefty short man, though he has not been consistent.

Steve Colyer, LHP: 24 years old, had a 3.45 ERA in 59 relief appearances for AA Jacksonville last year. Struck out 68 in 62 2/3 innings. At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Dodgers may be hoping for a lefty Eric Gagne (6-2, 195), but Colyer also walked 40.

Jason Romano, IF/OF: See January 28. Not a real promising prospect in my mind, but if Izturis goes to the minors, might make the right 25th man.

Terry Shumpert, IF/OF: Fits the utility man mold. At age 36, in direct competition with his much younger teammate on the Rockies last year, Romano.

Ron Coomer, 1B/3B: See January 31. He doesnÕt belong on the team. Has enough name recognition, and the Dodgers donÕt really have a backup third baseman. But Beltre might play 1,458 innings or more this year, if you get my drift.

Quilvio Veras, 2B: Has been a starter in the past. Missed 2002 with injuries. The position-player version of Wilson Alvarez. Though there is a spot open for a middle infielder, his lack of outfield experience hurts his chances.

Chad Hermansen, OF: Sounds like there are doubts about his shoulder. HeÕs out of options, so heÕd have to go on the disabled list or be released. Look for him to be just ailing enough for the DL.

Jolbert Cabrera, IF/OF: Versatile, but seems dispensable. Out of options. Dodgers might hope he could be released and unclaimed, thus allowing him to go to Las Vegas.

Yorkis Perez, LHP: 3.29 ERA for Baltimore last year in 23 relief appearances. Pitched better there than he did during his 28 relief appearances in the minors. 35 years old Š only 10Z years younger than Jesse Orosco. No relation, I donÕt think, to Carlos et al.

See You Mid-Season? (11)
Wilkin Ruan, OF: Still green, but has speed.

Chin-Feng Chen, 1B/LF: Once their most exciting prospect after batting .316 with 31 home runs, 123 RBI and 31 steals in San Bernardino in 1999, he now seems to have some real holes in his game: declining speed, no defense, strike zone issues. Still has something to prove.

Koyie Hill, C: Promising Š had a good spring training last year followed by a good season in AA. With Hundley and Ross both candidates for the DL sometime this year, we might see him.

Alfredo Gonzalez, RHP: I know next-to-nothing about him, but have heard his name bandied. He went 2-3, 2.91 with 23 strikeouts in 21 innings for Las Vegas at the end of last season, and apparently had a great winter season. Think the Dodgers didnÕt notice Francisco RodriguezÕ rise with the Angels?

Victor Alvarez, LHP: Came up from Las Vegas last year when the Dodgers were slammed by injuries, and floundered in his first opportunities before having a decent outing after the Dodgers were eliminated. 25 years old, with options remaining.

Lindsay Gulin, LHP: Split between Jacksonville and Las Vegas last year. He mainly relieved at Jacksonville but started at the higher level in Las Vegas Š youÕd expect the progression to be the other way around, wouldnÕt you? Anyway, he went 5-2 for each of them and struck out more than a batter per inning. 26 years old.

Troy Brohawn, LHP: Pitched 59 games for Arizona in 2001, 11 games for San Francisco in 2002. DidnÕt do that well (career ERA: 5.07) Š but is he a good-luck charm?

Calvin Murray, OF: Just looks like a failed prospect still trying to make it happen Š and who canÕt empathize with that? 31 years old, career OPS of .648 in 277 games.

Larry Barnes, 1B: Formerly in the Angel organization. Lefty bat, but Daryle Ward and Todd Hundley block him.

Calvin Maduro, RHP: 28 years old, started 10 games out of 12 appearances for Baltimore last year and went 2-5, 5.56. With all the righties on the team, canÕt see a future for him here.

Rodney Myers, RHP. 33 years old. Mostly in the minors, but did see 14 appearances with the Padres. See Maduro.

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