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Thurston, Stanley DFAed
2005-01-12 08:17
by Jon Weisman

Joe Thurston, the career Dodger minor leaguer who couldn't make the leap into a starting role tailor-made for him at second base in 2003, and Henri Stanley, acquired in the Dave Roberts trade last summer, were designated for assignment Tuesday, according to Tony Jackson of the Daily News. They could return to the Dodger organization if they are not traded or claimed on waivers in the next 10 days.

"Another player will have to be moved off the now-full 40-man to make room for (Paul) Bako," Jackson adds. "(Dioner) Navarro took the spot vacated by Green."

Here's a piece I wrote about Thurston in March 2003, a piece that now belongs in a time capsule for its irrelevance - except perhaps for its overall point of giving young players a chance.

What I can’t understand is how you can talk sending to the minors a young guy who has a rough five weeks while advocating that the team build for the future.

If you really believe in constructing your team for the long term, you keep Joe Thurston on the roster. And if he starts the season hitting .189 and Bill Plaschke comes around to say that you’ve made a mistake - you’re ruining this guy’s confidence and you’ve lost solid-hitting veteran Terry Shumpert to boot - then you tell Plaschke, "Thank you kindly for your thoughts." And then you say emphatically that you believe in Joe Thurston, and that you have your best people working with him, and that you’re gonna give him a real chance, not one that expires in March.

Still, given who it was written about, take it with a grain of salt. Perhaps Thurston proves that sometimes, despite the varying levels of competition and the compressed timeframe, Spring Training is all you need to make a decision on a player.

Stanley didn't look like much for Roberts last summer (other than providing cost savings for the Dodgers and ultimately the granting of a World Series ring to Roberts). Of course, he's not too old to follow Roberts' career path.

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