The day after the Dodgers failed to get out of the hole Derek Lowe dug for them (is it too late to call Lowe’s losses Trinka-Stinkas?), the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett writes that Cesar Izturis can unpack his bags. Unless there’s a road trip, of course.
From the moment the Dodgers signed Rafael Furcal as a free agent in December, it seemed obvious what role Cesar Izturis would fill when he returned from Tommy John surgery.
But General Manager Ned Colletti and Manager Grady Little would not be pinned down, emphasizing instead how circumstances change over the course of a season, such as this one.
Veteran third baseman Bill Mueller underwent knee surgery in May and is not likely to return this season. Top prospect Andy LaRoche’s development was slowed by a shoulder injury in June, and Izturis has made a smooth transition from shortstop to third base and Colletti now says he would be reluctant to include Izturis in a trade.
“I would have to have a definite answer in return,” he said, an indication the GM does not consider minor-leaguers Willy Aybar, Joel Guzman or LaRoche (who returned to Triple-A this past week, avoiding surgery for a slight labrum tear) everyday answers at the major-league level at this point.
“Cesar has done a great job at third base,” Colletti said. “Is he going to be a prototypical hitter at third base? No. But I definitely like what I’ve seen from him and appreciate the professionalism he has shown by agreeing to make that (position) switch in order to make us a better ballclub.”
We can safely assume the Braves would hate to enter the break more than 10 games under .500. At the moment, they’re looking a good bet to finish today’s play at 40-49, as they’ve knocked out the Reds’ Bronson Arroyo, and lead Cincinnati, 6-3 at Turner Field. Jeff Francouer and Scott Thorman have each homered for Atlanta, while Adam Dunn chopped the Braves’ advantage in half with a 3-run shot off Oscar Villareal. Atlanta starter John Thompson exited in the 3rd, suffering from shoulder stiffness.
The Fish came back from 3-0 down to take a 5-3 lead over the Mets in the 7th inning. Taking advantage of throwing errors by Xavier Nady and Paul Lo Duca in a 3 run 7th inning, Florida have momentarily stolen attention from a dugout shoving match between Miguel Cabrera and Marlins starter Scott Olson at the end of the 5th inning. Though Paul Lo Duca was credited with an RBI double on a grounder that Cabrera couldn’t handle, Olson seemed to be telling Miggy he thought it was an error. Or something like that. Much finger-pointing ensued. “You don’t want to show up your fielders,” mused Keith Hernandez. “It would be one thing if it was a Gaylord Perry or Kevin Brown,” considered Gary Cohen. “But a 22-year-old pitcher…”
I dunno. Cabrera’s already said there’s nothing he can learn from veterans, so perhaps he can settle for being chewed out in public by a rookie.
(UPDATE : Mets 7, Marlins 5, top of the 9th. David Wright, shown curtain-calling, above, hit a 3 run HR into the left-field bleachers off supposed cult-TV phenom Logan Kensing in the bottom of the 8th. The inning began with Kensing walking Jose Valentin, followed by Reggie Abercrombie losing a Paul Lo Duca fly in the sun. Carlos Beltan singled home Valentin moments later.)