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Scott Elbert cannot say he didn't get an opportunity

It’s getting down to it now, the final decisions coming more sharply into focus.

The bullpen, at first almost without vacancy and then practically hosting open tryouts after the injury to Vicente Padilla and Ronald Belisario’s Venezuelan vanishing act, is now locked up.

And outside again is Scott Elbert.

Not the way the Dodgers wanted it to happen, but seemingly the unavoidable call now. He had his opportunity this spring, but could not seize it. It was more struggle, more wildness, more of the same issues that had plagued him during his three brief stints with the Dodgers.

As much as the Dodgers would like to have a second left-hander in the bullpen, Elbert’s spring numbers (9.00 ERA, 10 walks in eight innings) can’t justify keeping him. Even if that was their plan only a few days ago.

At that point, it was Lance Cormier who was apparently the odd man out. The Dodgers asked him to accept a minor-league assignment. But Cormier, a veteran of seven major-league seasons, had an out in his contract and wasn’t interested. He had a card to play and did. The Dodgers knew that, of course.

"I signed here to pitch in the major leagues," Cormier told’s Ken  Gurnick on Sunday.

Cormier appeared in 60 games for the Tampa Rays last season, finishing with a 3.92 ERA but a serious WHIP of 1.645.

Still, this spring he has been very effective (2.00 ERA, 10 hits, two walks in nine innings), while Elbert has not.

Cormier almost did the Dodgers a favor by refusing to accept his minor-league assignment. Now they can use that as an excuse for keeping him and sending Elbert -- who has options remaining -- back down.

Elbert did not seem to accept a demotion well last season after struggling in his only appearance in May. Soon after he left triple-A Albuquerque for the rest of the season for what was described as a personal issue.

Elbert, 25, is a 2004 first-round pick, he’s left-handed and can be very impressive. The Dodgers are not about to give up on him. And at this point, it would seem he could benefit from returning to Albuquerque and demonstrating he is serious about reclaiming his career.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Comments () | Archives (9)

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Elbert, sadly, was unwatchable last night; but then, so was the entire team. After two games against the Angels, I can tell this is going to be a very long season. Terrible pitching in both games, starting and relieving. Absolutely no hitting from the starting lineup. Lack of hitting against Ervin Santana is one thing, but Scott Kazmir?? On the pitching side, we have Lilly and Kuroda serving up b.p. pitches, when they could get them over the plate, and Broxton not exactly inspiring any confidence that he's capable of closing a Major League baseball game. As for Elbert, he can be consigned to the scrapheap of unrealized prospects. Both relievers are pathetic head cases. At least, you can send Elbert back to the bushes. We're stuck with Broxton.

Elbert may benefit from slowing down his pace a bit. The slower pace, may help give him better rythym.

What '58 said.

Since '58: I would love to say that I disagree with your assessment, but I can find little fault with it. I am less optimistic heading into this season that I have been in many years. Even if Loney, Kemp and Ethier have big years, I see too many holes elsewhere in the starting lineup. When is the last time we looked so uncertain at three starting positions -- catcher, left field and second base/third base, wherever Uribe doesn't start? That's not to say that Uribe is anything like a guarantee for a solid season. The starting pitching starts off strong with Kershaw and Billingsley, but it's a collection of journeymen after that. I feel Mattingly made a big mistake in the off-season by announcing that Broxton would be his closer. He has not had a strong spring. And, of course, the uncertainty at the very top of the front office creates an air of uncertainty. Here's hope that you and I are both wrong.

The Dodgers look to be in midseason form.

Elbert is a total loser, & another reflection (sadly) as to how pitiful the once-proud organization has fallen, to make this doooooosh a #1 draft pick!!!!

What Chumpy Kemp said.

I like what i saw from Antonini this spring. Pretty could comand of his off-speed stuff. He uses it early for strikes setting up his fast ball for later in the count. That makes 90 look like 93. I know he was originally a starter but looked pretty good out of the pen this spring. What are the organization's plans for him this year?

Is it safe to say, as long as players have options left, they can hang around longer?


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