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Let's get it out of the way now: Could this be the missing Link to Dodgers’ relief woes?

OK, sorry about that. Sometimes you just have to give up the easy one.

Quick answer: Not likely.

Right-hander Jon Link, who came over to the Dodgers in the off-season from the White Sox in the Juan Pierre trade, was brought up prior to Sunday’s game against the Giants.

Russ Ortiz was designated for assignment. Assuming he clears waivers, he could join Triple-A Albuquerque. Ortiz said if the organization had a specific role in mind for him that could get him back to the Dodgers, he might accept an Albuquerque assignment.

This figures as a brief stop for Link. Possibly extremely brief.

The Dodgers are expected to bring up left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo on Tuesday when they start a nine-game road trip in Cincinnati. And they could  add right-hander Ronald Belisario shortly.

This is the first major-league call-up for Link  -- who led all minor leaguers in 2008 with 35 saves at Double-A Birmingham -- and he understands it might prove a short stay.

"It’s good to come up here and get my feet wet,’" Link said. "Whether I have to go back down or not.

"It’s a good opportunity for me to show what I can do when games matter … even if it is only a short period of time. The opportunity is there, and I’m going to take it and run with it.’’

Link appeared in six games for Albuquerque this season, going 1-1 with two saves in 4 1/3 innings of work. He struck out three, walked three and had a 6.23 ERA.

Link, 27, said he was home Saturday when he got the phone call every minor leaguer dreams of from Albuquerque manger Tim Wallach.

"I was at home, playing video games and talking to my wife," Link said. "Wally called and said, 'Why aren’t you here yet?' And I paused and thought to myself, 'Oh, boy, did I miss something? Was I late to the field? Was something going on I didn’t know about?’ And I said, 'I’ll be there in 10 minutes.'

"And he said, 'OK, do you have your flight information with you?' And I said, 'What?' He said, 'You’re going to Los Angeles tonight.'

"The initial shock of it was, 'Wow.' It was really something else. It was everything I hoped it would be when I first got my phone call."

Ortiz, 35, made the 25-man roster during the spring after coming to camp as a non-roster invitee.

After a solid spring, however, he was inconsistent the first two weeks of the season. In six appearances, Ortiz was 0-1 with a 10.29 ERA. In seven innings, he allowed 10 hits and gave up five walks.

"I threw three innings that went terribly wrong, and I think I threw [four] innings that went really well," Ortiz said.

"I’m not going to just put on any uniform to put on a uniform. I love to compete. I love to win," he said, adding that anytime you're "let go it’s disappointing. This is my third time.

"What comes next, we’ll see. It’s kind of exciting but at the same time disappointing."

If the Dodgers are still interested in Ortiz, he could benefit from going down and trying to become more consistent. A very long season awaits and all things are possible.

-- Steve Dilbeck
Comments () | Archives (6)

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I like this blog and I think Steve does a great job. However, for those of you who want something a little more brutally honest, try Been around for a couple of years.

Purely and simply, the Dodgers sealed their fate for 2010 when they failed to re-sign Wolf (not that Wolf is exactly Roy Halladay, but he was their most consistent arm) and they failed to go after any sort replacement for him. (Lacky, Piniero, ANYONE?) I don't necessarily think it was the divorce. I think it was McCourt basically telling the fans, "I know you're still going to show up 3 and a half million strong, I'm going to make my profit, so what do I care of we get to the World Series? Just show up and shut up." Two NLCS appearances are World Series enough for that awful, arrogant, greedy man.

I don't care how much power the Dodgers outfield will generate. Can't win without pitching. The Rockies and Giants will battle it out for first, with the Snakes not far behind. Our Blue will likely 4th in the West barring a miracle or some mid-season acquisition of a Johann Santana or his like. Let's face it. He's turned the Dodgers into a mid-market club and you can't advance to the highest level without an ace. Kershaw? He'll be there, but it's not fair to place those expectations on him this soon. He's 22.

The Dodgers will get better when McCourt gives up the team and we get an owner who remembers and cares.

Anyone is an improvement over Russ Ortiz. I'd take Scott Erickson over Russ Ortiz.

Maybe Link can stay and Sherrill could be put on the DL -for some reason- to work on his mechanics. Then drop Ramon Ortiz in the nearest mail box.
Great game today, EH?

Hey, Uncle Neddy!
I just got a new phone. Call me to see if it works!

Elbert, Stultz and MacDonald were good enuff.

I'm not on the "We should have re-signed Wolf" bandwagon. I'd love to have Wolf in the rotation rather than Heager, but any contract even
close to $29.75 million for 3 years is not worth it. By the end of that contract, every blog will be talking about how bad of a deal it is.


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