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Missteps aside, credit for Dodgers' turnaround goes in part to Ned Colletti

May 24, 2010 | 12:45 pm
Colletti_300 Give it up, give it up, give it up now … for Ned Colletti.

Ah, you can do this. It can’t be that hard. Come on, give the man his due.

When the Dodgers got off to their miserable 8-14 start, coming off an unimpressive postseason during which they failed to add a front-line starting pitcher and their only additions were role players, Colletti received plenty of heat across the blogosphere.

Yet it’s impossible to know for certain how much of his inability to land someone approximating an ace was his fault, and how much was simply Frank McCourt’s unwillingness to drop some serious moolah.

Since Colletti’s main responsibility is to please McCourt, he’s not going to mention financial restraints he’s under. Until McCourt proves otherwise, best to assume they’re there.

But for now, Colletti deserves credit for what he did do this off-season.

Jamey Carroll and Reed Johnson weren’t the sexiest signings, but 44 games into the season, they have proven valuable assets.

Carroll filled in at shortstop for injured Rafael Furcal better than anyone had right to expect. He’s started 26 games, batting .300 and playing a solid shortstop.

Furcal is (again) expected back Tuesday, but when the Dodgers were winning 12 of 13 games to get back in the National League West race, it was Carroll starting at shortstop.

Johnson has started 15 games, played in 38 overall and consistently been a positive factor. He’s batting .300.

Colletti’s other position addition was the late-signing of Garret Anderson. Right now that’s a seeming bust, but Anderson (.159) got a pair of hits Sunday and last year was off to a slow start before going on a four-month tear. And this is the first time his primary responsibility is as a pinch-hitter. This one will require a little more time before final judgment.

And then there’s the pitching. Colletti brought John Ely over in the off-season in the trade for Juan Pierre.

No one -- including Colletti -- could have imagined he’d be up with the team this soon, let alone performing so well (3-1, 3.41 ERA).

But he is.

Colletti also gambled on bringing in rookie Carlos Monasterios, a Rule 5 draftee who essentially had never pitched above Single-A.

Monasterios is being handled carefully by Joe Torre and has thrown in few true pressure situations. But when he has pitched, he’s been very respectable (1-0, 1.90) and his now likely to get another start.

There are, of course, the Ortiz signings. Russ is already out of here, and Ramon could be soon, letting Randy Wolf leave, and dumping Eric Stults.

Still, on the whole, considering the lack of major off-season movement, what Colletti was able do is proving deft.

And deserving of recognition.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Ned Colletti in 2009. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

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