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Russ Mitchell, Jon Link among Dodgers' latest cuts

March 15, 2011 | 10:08 am

Sixteen days until the Dodgers' season opener and the roster cuts are starting to add up.

As spring training innings become more precious, the Dodgers moved four more players back to the minors Tuesday morning. None had been threatening to make the final 25-man roster.

Still, it's hard to report this as addition by subtraction.

Corner infielder Russ Mitchell, whom Manager Don Mattingly had previously identified this spring as his longer-term replacement for James Loney at first, was optioned back to the minor league camp along with reliever Jon Link. Nonroster players J.D. Closser and Ramon Colon were reassigned to the minors.

Mitchell, 26, is another middling prospect having trouble making that final jump to the majors. A September call-up last year, he started 11 games (six at third) and batted .143 with a pair of home runs and four RBI in 42 at-bats.

Link, who turns 27 next week, came to the Dodgers with John Ely in last year's trade for Juan Pierre. The right-hander was called up four times last season from triple-A Albuquerque. In six appearances for the Dodgers, he had a 4.15 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP in 8 2/3 innings.

Closser, 31, is a switch-hitting catcher without much power. Colon, 31, is a right-handed reliever who pitched last season for the Royals.

There are now 44 players remaining in big league camp, 21 pitchers and 23 position players.

-- Steve Dilbeck