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Dodgers activate Rafael Furcal and start him; A.J. Ellis called back up

Rafael Furcal, bad back and all, returned to the Dodgers on Friday and was immediately inserted back in the lineup.

Furcal, currently scheduled to be the highest-paid Dodger next season ($13 million), has continued to battle injuries this season.

He has appeared in only 76 of the Dodgers’ 134 games. He last played on Aug. 2 before straining his lower back. He also missed most of May because of a sore hamstring.

He hit a home run in his final rehab game at triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday.

When Furcal has played this year, however, he has been the shortstop the Dodgers envisioned when they signed him to a three-year, $30-million contract after the 2008 season.

Furcal made the All-Star team, and might have been their most valuable player when healthy. He’s hitting .316, with eight home runs, 39 RBIs, 57 runs, 20 doubles and 18 stolen bases in 307 at-bats.

The Dodgers also made their first September call-up, bringing catcher A.J. Ellis back for a third time. Ellis is batting .208 in 27 games.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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I'm not pretending that the Dodger have anything but the smallest of chances, but respectfully, this portion from your last post...

"Further evidence for the bleeding-blue faithful is offered by’s Tom Verducci, who wrote that since the formation of the eight-team playoff format, only one of baseball’s 112 teams made the postseason after starting Sept. 1 more than 3½ games out (the ’07 Rockies were five back)." highly misleading. Yes, at THE EXACT DATE of September 1st, that is be true. But teams have been even FARTHER than that 3.5 games out more than a week LATER, and have still won playoff spots. Just a few examples:

-2007 Philadelphia Phillies...7 games behind Mets on September 12th, won division.

-2009 Minnesota Twins...7 games behind Tigers on September 6th, won division.

-Don't have exact dates, but the 1995 Yankees were 13 games behind the Angels with just 32 games to play. Angel fans 25 and older remember what happened next.

There are probably other examples, but you get the idea. So yeah, there's tons of evidence that the Dodgers are just about done for the year. But Verducci's misleading stat is not a part of it.


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