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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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5) discussing politics
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The 18-Man Pitching Staff
2005-03-23 20:38
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

So, just when you forget that Wilson Alvarez is made of origami - lots of origami - Ken Gurnick passes along the reminder. The valuable swingman has tendinitis:

Alvarez last pitched in an intrasquad game Friday, but did not register much above the mid-80s on the radar gun with his fastball. He tossed 88 pitches and allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings with four walks.

Alvarez has only one big league game appearance of two hitless innings and a three-inning "B" game appearance, having been slowed by the flu.

He was considered a candidate to start the second game of the season if Odalis Perez hasn't built up enough pitch count, but the latest setback makes Alvarez questionable even to be the fifth starter after Scott Erickson.

Gurnick notes that Norihiro Nakamura is probably headed for the minors at season's open so that the Dodgers can start with 12 pitchers. Any Alvarez misanthrophy really opens the rubber door.*

In (9): Derek Lowe, Jeff Weaver, Odalis Perez, Scott Erickson, Eric Gagne, Yhency Brazoban, Giovanni Carrara, Duaner Sanchez, Elmer Dessens

Questionable (1): Wilson Alvarez

Candidates (7, for 2 or 3 spots): Buddy Carlyle (the Dodger Thoughts pick to click), Mike Venafro, Kelly Wunsch, Frank Brooks (seems like he's losing in the popular vote), Edwin Jackson, Ryan Rupe (did I mention he was this year's Tanyon Sturtze?), D.J. Houlton (Rule 5 helps his cause)

Disabled (2): Brad Penny (and Darren Dreifort, of course)

"Venafro has an escape clause in his contract that allows him to be a free agent if the club attempts to assign him to the minor leagues after Friday," Gurnick noted. "That might give him an edge over Wunsch, who has an escape clause in his contract if he's not in the Major Leagues by June 15, as does Rupe. Carlyle said he has a July 1 escape."

Still, it's not as if the minor leagues are going to be Siberia for Dodger pitchers. They should think twice about rushing to leave. For the most part, we might as well just call it an 18-man staff.

*Wouldn't it be cool if the pitchng rubber was really a trap door and relievers entered the game by rising up through the mound?

Comments
2005-03-23 22:07:24
1.   GoBears
Well, not that this is ideal, but Dessens and even Carrara can spot-start. If it's just a matter of patching things together until Penny or Alvarez is ready. Either that, or I suppose advantage Jackson, right?
2005-03-23 22:44:31
2.   Linkmeister
"...relievers entered the game by rising up through the mound?"

Blast you, Jon, that's reminded me of some image (a cartoon, maybe?) that had pitchers doing just that. It'll bother me the rest of the night.

2005-03-23 23:53:20
3.   Tommy Naccarato
Jon,
I think it would be even cooler if there was a trap door right below Frank & Jamie's box seats, that when opened, would send them into a wormhole back to Boston at the speed of light.

But that would be wishful thinking! :)

2005-03-24 04:37:09
4.   graciebarn
The umpires need trapdoors in the grass to enter when they make a questionable call until the fury dies down.
2005-03-24 07:10:01
5.   djramone
The Nationals are going to have a trap door-like pitching mound this year.

dj

"The pitching mound, packed clay on a steel plate, weighs 18,000 pounds, and officials nixed their original idea of having it lifted by a crane into a trailer before soccer games because the enormous equipment could damage the field. So a team of engineers, architects, electricians and even NASA scientists created the hydraulic lift. It will be operated from a box in the third base dugout -- a box that will be locked during games, lest an opposing team's manager gets a crazy idea while a Nationals pitcher is at work."

2005-03-24 07:21:54
6.   tjshere
Hey, guys, have you got room for a new kid in town?

Re: spot starting - Earlier in the spring I heard Duaner Sanchez was going to get a look as a possible starter. Does anyone know how that experiment fared?

It just kills me that I can't listen to the spring games on the radio!

2005-03-24 07:24:34
7.   DXMachina
"Wouldn't it be cool if the pitchng rubber was really a trap door and relievers entered the game by rising up through the mound?"

I'm amazed Charley Finley never tried this.

2005-03-24 08:32:51
8.   FirstMohican
"Wouldn't it be cool if the pitchng rubber was really a trap door and relievers entered the game by rising up through the mound?"

Yes. Even cooler would be how the failed pitchers would exit the game through the trap door.

Wouldn't it be cool if, when any player was called out on strikes, a giant fork impaled him and flung him back in the dug-out?

It would also be somewhat cool if, when Gagne came in to shut the game down, the sky went black and trumpeters were slowly elevated from behind the right and left field pavillion sections. Instead of throwing baseballs he threw spears. Instead of the opposition using bats, bats used the opposition to make contact with the 98MPH spears.

I need to start my own sport.

2005-03-24 08:56:30
9.   zappala
What do you mean you can't listen to the spring training games on the radio? MLB Radio through the Internet is a measly $14.95 for the whole season.
2005-03-24 09:24:09
10.   tjshere
zappala - I are a dumb truck driver and I'm usually on the road during the day when the spring training games are on. I'm usually asleep by the time they are replayed and KFWB doesn't come in that well up here in the desert anyway.
2005-03-24 09:29:03
11.   corey
Duaner a starter? I hadn't heard that one before, but it sounds odd to me. Although I'm sure his goal in baseball isn't to be a middle reliever, so maybe it'll happen. I have a feeling the Dodgers are gonna have to try some tricks over the first few weeks of the season just to send 5 starters out each week.
2005-03-24 10:19:28
12.   Linkmeister
"I'm usually on the road during the day when the spring training games are on."

There's an argument for (oxymoron ahead) a cheap laptop.

2005-03-24 10:25:34
13.   Bob Timmermann
The mound at RFK is not anything new. Anaheim Stadium's mound did the same thing back when the Rams used it. I imagine that the mound at Candlestick as well as the other multiuse parks did it as well.

It's not exactly cutting edge technology.

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