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Put out an alert! Dodgers can't find Carlos Monasterios, or a least a spot to pitch him

May 19, 2010 |  2:19 pm
The Dodgers’ winning streak has had at least one negative effect.

Anyone seen Carlos Monasterios lately?

Monasterios hasn’t pitched in more than a week. And as long as the Dodgers win, he’s unlikely to pitch. Unless it’s in a blowout.

Manager Joe Torre clearly doesn’t trust the right-hander -- who except for a pair of games last year for Double-A Reading had never pitched above the Single-A level until this season -- to protect a lead.

Right now, he’s wasting a spot on the active roster. Because he was chosen as a Rule 5 draft pick, he’s either on the 25-man roster or has to be returned to the Phillies.

The Dodgers, or maybe general manager Ned Colletti, like him enough that they want to keep him, but at some point hanging on to him is like playing with 24 men.

Monasterios hasn’t pitched since May 11, throwing two innings in a 13-3 rout of the Diamondbacks. How long can the Dodgers wait before putting him in a game again?

"We’ll wait as long as it takes," Torre said. "When he needs to throw, he throws. He’s our long guy, our extra-inning guy right now. If we don’t use him, we don’t use him. He’ll stay as sharp as he can, throwing when he needs to throw."

Monasterios has appeared in 11 games this season, throwing a total of 20 2/3 innings, and that includes four innings in one start. He is 1-0 with a 2.18 ERA.

The rest of the experienced bullpen is now throwing well, making it even more difficult to call on Monasterios late in a tight game.

Yet he can’t be getting any sharper sitting in the bullpen every night. If the Dodgers keep winning, at some point Torre is going to have trust him with a close lead.

"We may at some point, but he’s still a youngster and right now when we get late in a game and our starters have given us an opportunity to go late in a game, it has to be these other guys," Torre said.

-- Steve Dilbeck
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