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Category: Carlos Monasterios

Carlos Monasterios will make it through the season, but it's no guarantee he'll be with Dodgers next year

Carlos Monasterios has done it.

Wednesday is the first day rosters can be expanded to 40, meaning Monasterios is going to last the entire season as a rookie Rule 5 free agent.

In team history, only one other player -- D.J. Houlton in 2005 -- has ever made it through the entire season without the Dodgers having to offer the pick back to his original club.

Which still doesn’t mean Monasterios will be with the Dodgers next season. At least not the big-league version.

Once the season is over, he’s officially the Dodgers’ property and without restrictions. Meaning, next season, they can send him to the minors without having to offer him back to his former club.

"We’ll have more flexibility," said manager Joe Torre. "This year was a good experience for him.

"He needs regular work, and next year we’ll have that opportunity."

Which sounded like an announcement that Monasterios would be starting in the minors next season.

The Dodgers kept Monasterios as a long man when the season began but, because of various injuries, has been their main spot starter. He’s appeared in 28 games this season, including 11 starts.

He’s had mixed results -- 3-5, 4.02 ERA -- but prefers to start. Out of the bullpen, however, he’s 1-0 with a 2.32 ERA. He was roughed up for five runs in two innings by the Phillies on Tuesday.

Monasterios, 24, said he believed he belonged at the major-league level.

"Of course," he said.

But he pretty much throws two pitches -- fastball, breaking ball -- and the Dodgers want him to learn a third pitch. Until this season, he had appeared in only two games above the double-A level.

"He’s still learning," Torre said. "We knew when we took him in spring training that this was a kid we wanted for the future.

"He’s given us some good games, and out of the bullpen he’s done a good job. But he’s still in that growing process."

A process that, it appears right now, could take him back to the minors next season.

If he does make the club as a starter, that could be telling about the Dodgers’ offseason.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers again can't sustain the momentum, fall 8-4 to the Phillies

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Well, that’s life. Anyway, that’s what all the baseball people say. The Dodgers can be riding high one night, shot down the next.

Win one, lose one. Win one, lose two. It’s a formula for fourth place.

The Dodgers have been searching for that elusive winning streak to propel them back into the playoff hunt for months. They’ve had one winning streak of more than four games the entire season. In the past six weeks alone, they’ve had two six-game losing streaks.

So one night after Hiroki Kuroda lifted their spirits by taking a no-hitter into the eighth, they came back Tuesday and gave up a couple of early three-run bombs on the way to an 8-4 loss to the Phillies.

These would be the Phillies they are chasing for the National League wild-card berth. The loss dropped the Dodgers 6½ games back of the Phillies. They have 29 games to play.

Naturally, a three-game series at home against the Phillies would make this an excellent time to finally start putting together that winning streak.

A hard thing to do when your fill-in fifth starter, Carlos Monasterios, is giving up line drives all over the field and then a three-run homer to light-hitting Brian Schneider. He came into the night batting .206 with 10 RBIs.

The Dodgers picked up Monasterios, of course, is an off-season Rule 5 draft off the Phillies, via the Mets. On this night, the Phillies had to be thinking they hadn’t missed out on much.

Monasterios (3-5) lasted only two-plus innings, surrendering five runs on five hits.

He wasn’t helped out much when Ramon Troncoso continued his lost season, relieving Monasterios with two on in the third and promptly giving up a three-run homer to Ryan Howard.

That made it a 6-1 Philadelphia lead. Even when the Dodgers mounted something of a rally against Philly starter Kyle Kendrick (9-7) by scoring one in the fifth with a pair of singles and a groundout, and then two more in the sixth on a James Loney homer, they could not maintain the momentum.

The Phillies came back in the seventh when George Sherrill walked the bases loaded. Ex-closer Jonathan Broxton came on and immediately gave up a two-run single to pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz.

The early exit by Monasterios puts the Dodgers in a tough situation for Wednesday’s noon game. The Dodgers went through five relievers Tuesday --six if you count Kenley Jansen’s successful pinch-hit single in the fifth. Starter Clayton Kershaw best be ready to pitch deep into the game.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas talks to starting pitcher Carlos Monasterios on Tuesday night. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

Dodgers' offense continues to roar in sweep of Brewers, 7-1

So like everyone was saying, the Dodgers are a regular offensive juggernaut.

Opposing pitchers best run for cover. They are eaten like snacks. Taken advantage of like the elderly.

Before the Dodgers step into the batter’s box these days, they drop their bats, pound their chests, look to the heavens and let out their best Tarzan cry.

OK, maybe not, but it must have felt that way to the Brewers after the Dodgers swept the three-game series in Milwaukee with a 7-1 victory Thursday afternoon.

The Dodgers, whose offense has sputtered since the All-Star break, collected double-digits hits in all three games. It was their first sweep of a road series since they took three from the Giants June 28-30.

Casey Blake hit a two-run homer, Scott Podsednik went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, Brad Ausmus had three hits and Ryan Theriot a pair to lead the resurgent offense.

And they managed it Thursday without Manny Ramirez, who was rested. And still a Dodger.

With Carlos Monasterios going 4 1/3 innings and four relievers shutting the Brewers down the rest of the way, it was more than enough offense to beat Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo (11-6).

They suddenly have some very late-season momentum, moving into a key three-game series this weekend in Colorado. The Rockies are one of four teams ahead of the Dodgers in the National League wild-card race.

The Dodgers collected 32 hits in the three games in Milwaukee, including nine doubles and four home runs.

The Dodgers scored single runs in the first and fifth innings, before putting the game away with Blake’s two-run homer in the sixth and adding three more in the seventh.

Six of the runs were charged against Gallardo. That matched his season high, though it was the second time in three starts.

Monasterios allowed only two hits, one a Prince Fielder solo home run -- does he hit any other kind? -- but left the game in fifth after loading the bases with one out on two hit batters and a walk.

Despite it being only the fifth, manager Joe Torre went to the same matchups he had successfully used the previous night, getting right-hander Ronald Belisario to strike out Ryan Braun and left-hander George Sherrill to induce Fielder to bounce out.

Rookie Kenley Jansen threw two scoreless innings, Octavio Dotel one, and Jeff Weaver the ninth to complete the Dodgers' first sweep of the Brewers in four years.

The six Dodgers pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers watch another one get away in 3-1 loss to Reds

Exhibits were on display Friday night. The classic baseball kind. The kind the Dodgers really didn't need to see, nor demonstrate.

The old baseball refrain is that good teams find ways to win, bad teams find ways to lose.

Any guesses yet as to Friday's outcome?

The Reds are a good team -- also a hot team -- which they showed again in their 3-1 victory over the Dodgers.

They started a pitcher who just last week made his first start in almost three months, Homer Bailey, and let him throw 114 pitches. They got three runs batted in from their leadoff hitter, Brandon Phillips.

And they made it hold up for their seventh consecutive victory, pushing their lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central to 4½ games.

The Dodgers, remarkably, found still another way to lose.

They were locked in a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning when right-hander Carlos Monasterios fielded a bunt by Drew Stubbs ... and threw it to Chinatown.

That would be Monasterios, the starting pitcher. A guy capable of throwing 90 pitchers around the plate but unable to make a routine throw to first.

Monasterios managed to pick up a couple of ground balls for outs, which would have ended the inning. But Phillips, who had singled in the Reds’ first run in the second, lined another hit to center to score two more.

Three Dodgers relievers -- Ronald Belisario, Kenley Jansen and Octavio Dotel -- held the Reds scoreless the rest of the game, but the damage had been done.

Monasterios (3-4), subbing for injured Vicente Padilla and starting for the first time since July 30, went 4 1/3 innings and was something less than sharp. He gave up eight hits and walked one, but did strike out a career-high six.

The Dodgers scored their run off Bailey (3-2) in the third after Jamey Carroll walked and went to second on a single by Brad Ausmus. Monasterios’ sacrifice bunt advanced the runners. After Scott Podsednik lined out to short, Ryan Theriot beat out a bunt single that drove in Carroll.

Otherwise, Bailey was tough all night. He went seven innings, giving up four hits and two walks. He struck out six.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers to place Vicente Padilla on 15-day disabled list with bulging disc in neck [Updated]

File this under the department of What Else Can Go Wrong?

For the slumping Dodgers it’s another day, another … what?

Before Thursday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers announced right-hander Vicente Padilla had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bulging disc in his neck. [Updated, 7:47 p.m.: The Dodgers have not officially placed Padilla on the disabled list, but they are expected to at some point following Thursday's game against the Rockies.]

"It’s like that other shoe hitting the floor," said Manager Joe Torre.

Padilla had been brilliant through a recent seven-game stretch (4-1, 1.13 earned-run average), but in his last two starts that the Dodgers now say he was suffering from the neck and left shoulder pain, he stumbled to 1-1 with an 11.57 ERA.

Trainer Stan Conte said Padilla had an MRI on Thursday and the injury is not believed serious.

"It’s not a real big bulge and it’s not pressing on a nerve," Conte said.

Conte said the injury is not expected to require surgery. Padilla is scheduled to have an epidural Friday.

Torre said rookie Carlos Monasterios would start in Padilla’s place Friday against the Cincinnati Reds unless he’s needed in long relief Thursday.

Torre said when he informed the right-hander of his options, he said: "That’s good either way."

The Dodgers plan to call right-handed reliever Travis Schlichting back up from triple-A Albuquerque on Friday, unless Monasterios pitches Thursday.

Then who would start Friday?

"I don’t know," Torre said. "Maybe another quick move to get somebody else here."

Previously this season with the Dodgers, Schlichting was 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA in 13 games.

Earlier Padilla, 32, missed almost two months at the beginning of the season with a nerve problem in elbow.

This injury is not considered as serious.

"He’s not going to pitch with it again," Torre said. "He’ll miss a start, maybe two. I’m not saying it’s going to be the rest of the year, but we have to give it a chance to quiet down."

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers' offense explodes for biggest night of season in 15-9 victory over Phillies

Gibbons_400 Those versatile Dodgers, their starting pitching finally hiccups and the offense suddenly wakes up -- with a serious roar.

An offense that had been limp for a month made itself all at home in Philadelphia, scoring early and often, on the way to an 15-9 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday.

It was the most runs the Dodgers have scored in a game this season.

The Dodgers got the first four-hit night of the season from Andre Ethier,  the first home run from Jay Gibbons in three years, and a four-RBI night from Casey Blake to run away from the Phillies.

By the time night was over, the Dodgers had collected 18 hits, with Ethier and Gibbons each driving in three runs.

The offense picked a good night to find itself, what with Vicente Padilla being at something less than the right-hander who had sported a stunning 0.74 ERA in his previous five starts.

Padilla (6-3) threw a two-hit shutout against the Padres in his last start, but struggled somewhat with his control against the Phillies.

Presented with a 7-0 lead, he gave up one run in the fourth and then three in the fifth, two coming on a Ross Gload home run. Gload would later add a second two-run homer off Carlos Monasterios.

Padilla went five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out two, his "soap bubble" curve not floating into the strike zone as reliably as in recent past efforts.

But with the offense coming to life, on this night it mattered not.

Ethier is showing signs of the guy who was tearing up the league before fracturing his pinky. In his last eight games, he’s batting .394 (13 for 33), with seven RBI and seven runs.

He started the Dodgers’ big offensive night by lining in a run-scoring single in the first and doubling in their next run in the second. A Gibbons hit scored Ethier.

The Dodgers took charge with a four-run fourth. A Ryan Theriot sacrifice fly and singles by Ethier, James Loney and Blake each scored one run.

After the Phillies pulled to within 7-4 in the fifth, the Dodgers scored four more times in the sixth. Suddenly, they were a regular offensive machine.

A Loney double and Blake sacrifice fly preceded a two-run homer by Gibbons.

For Gibbons, out of the major leagues for the past three years after being identified in the Mitchell Report, it was his first home run since July 17, 2007.

In his two games with the Dodgers since playing four months at triple-A Albuquerque, Gibbons is 4-for-5 with four RBI.

Blake added his 12th home run of the season in the ninth.

Ethier finished a perfect 4-for-4. He also walked and was hit by a pitch.

Things got so out of hand, reliever George Sherrill batted for the first time in his six-year career in the ninth. He walked.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers left fielder Jay Gibbons hits a two-run home run during the sixth inning against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday. Credit: Barbara Johnston / US Presswire

Dodgers at the deadline: No mega-deal comes forth, but they're left improved [Updated]

Well, that’s over with. Feel better? No? Aren’t ready to order those playoff tickets just yet?

The non-waiver trade deadline ticked off Saturday, leaving the Dodgers with a new starter in their rotation, a new reliever, a new second baseman and extra outfielder -- and the same left-fielder, at least if he ever actually gets healthy. Who knew getting in touch with your female side was so time-consuming these days?

No blockbuster deal suddenly reared its head. No fresh star power, nothing to really get the juices flowing for the Dodgers’ faithful.

So they move on without a Cliff Lee, Dan Haren or Roy Oswalt. Move on without the addition of a serious bat.

Is the result disappointing for a team in the second-biggest market in baseball? Absolutely. Is it surprising? Sorry, silly question.

We’ll leave ruminating over the size of the L.A. market versus the size of the Dodgers payroll for another day -- or several -- and instead focus on the immediate question:

Are the Dodgers a better team today than they were last week?

And -- deep breath here -- the answer is: yes.

Ted Lilly is not the legitimate No.1 starter the rotation craves, but even at 34, he is a positive addition. Granted, his 3-8 record is not impressive, nor was his last little visit to Dodger Stadium.

In his three starts since, however, he has a 1.80 ERA (four earned runs in 20 innings). And his record is somewhat deceptive, given that the Cubs provided him the second-lowest run support (3.77 per nine innings) in the majors, second only to Oswalt's (3.07).

So a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Vicente Padilla and Lilly is solid, one through five. That’s progress. The Dodgers will go out knowing they should have a chance to win every night.

[UPDATED:] Plus, the addition of the left-handed Lilly will enable to the Dodgers to again make Carlos Monasterios a reliever and unload one of those slugs dragging down the bullpen.

In a true deadline move, the Dodgers acquired reliever Octavio Dotel from the Pirates for James McDonald and minor-leaguer Andrew Lambo. This is another deal that makes it clear the Dodgers are focused on winning this season.

Dotel is 36, but had been closing for the Pirates (21 saves in 26 opportunities) and should be a good addition for this season. Lambo, 22, is an actual prospect and losing him could come back to haunt. But he’s twice been suspended for testing positive for a drug on the banned list. McDonald never delivered on his promise; perhaps he benefits from a fresh start.]

Scott Podsednik is a solid addition to the outfield and a serious step up from Xavier Paul, Garret Anderson, and even Reed Johnson.

Essentially swapping Blake DeWitt for Ryan Theriot straight up is not exactly an exciting upgrade. Many of their numbers are fairly similar, and Theriot is six years older than DeWitt. Still, Theriot (who does have a scary .320 on-base percentage) is arbitration eligible next season, so this could be the Dodgers’ second baseman for a while.

And then there is the deal that wasn’t made, unloading Manny Ramirez to the White Sox. Their offer: We’ll pay $1 million on his remaining contract.

The Dodgers didn’t bite, and for very good reason. Whatever you may think of Ramirez, he is still a productive hitter when healthy. When healthy, alas, being a key phrase here.

If the Dodgers had dumped Ramirez, they would have essentially said they were giving up on the 2010 season. Which would go against every other move they made, and be the kind of move that would never fly in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers are struggling to score and need to add offense, not subtract it. If Ramirez comes back in a week or two, he’s certainly capable of giving the offense a spark.

So, sure, it’s disappointing the Dodgers couldn’t pull the trigger on a significant deal to get the masses all excited. Still, in the short term, the moves Ned Colletti made have left the Dodgers an improved team.

[UPDATED: Said Colletti: "I don’t know if it was a great trade deadline or not. We’ll find out. I know that we set out to add a starter and add a bullpen piece, and see if we can add some more speed and versatility to the lineup, and we did that. How it all turns out, we’ll see."]

And hey, next year Carl Crawford is a free agent …

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers score more than two runs! And it still isn't enough, as Giants hang on for 6-5 victory

The Dodgers, all tired of that Marvin Gaye routine -- it takes two / to make a dream come true -- actually managed to score five runs Friday.

The Dodgers had been acting like two runs was some kind of unofficial ceiling to their offense.

So the good news is they scraped together some runs Friday. Alas, the bonus runs still weren’t enough, the Dodgers losing again as the Giants came back behind Aubrey Huff and Tim Lincecum to drop the Dodgers, 6-5.

The Dodgers are averaging two runs per game in their 15 games since the All-Star break. And were stuck there again until scoring three late runs in the ninth.

This is not a pattern. It’s an official downward spiral. It’s offensive implosion.

With the victory, the Giants raised their record to 59-45 and pulled within 2 ½ games of the Padres in the National League West. With the loss, the Dodgers fell to 54-49 and remain seven games back of the Padres.

Things started well enough for the Dodgers, with Russell Martin collecting his first career hit off Lincecum to score Casey Blake in the second.

The Giants tied it in the bottom of the inning on a Juan Uribe solo home run.

Rafael Furcal did the same for the Dodgers to lead off the third, but then they blew a nice opportunity to expand their lead.

Andre Either singled and James Loney doubled him to third, still with no outs. Matt Kemp followed with a bouncer to Uribe at short, and for some reason Ethier broke for home. He was thrown out by 10 feet.

Lincecum hit Blake with a pitch for the second time, loading the bases, but Blake DeWitt struck out and Martin bounced out to first. The Dodgers’ offense had peaked.

The Giants regained the lead for good with a two-out rally against Carlos Monasterios in the bottom of the inning. Andres Torres singled and Freddy Sanchez did the same to center.

Only Kemp made a lazy throw to Furcal, the ball bouncing in the dirt and past Furcal for an error that allowed the runners to advance.

Huff then drilled a two-run double off the wall in center, and the Giants were back on top.

The Giants had scored one more than two, which is about all it takes to beat the Dodgers these days.

The Giants added two more anyway in the sixth, Huff scoring on a Pat Burrell double off Jeff Weaver. Pablo Sandoval doubled in yet another.

Huff added a solo homer in the seventh.

It looked like the Dodgers were going to end the night with only two runs yet again, but at least they showed some late fight.

They scored three times in the ninth. Scott Podsednik tripled in one run and then scored on a wild pitch. Kemp singled in a last run to pull the Dodgers within one, but Chris Ray got Blake to bounce out to earn his first save as a Giant.

Lincecum (11-4) went seven innings for the Giants, allowing his two runs on seven hits. He struck out nine.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers right-hander Carlos Monasterios in good condition after taking line drive off the side of his head

Monasterious_300 One day after making a scoreless bid to return to the rotation, right-hander Carlos Monasterios was hit hard.

Only to the side of the head.

Monasterios was sitting in the dugout in the fourth inning Sunday afternoon when Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran lined a wicked foul into the Dodgers’ dugout.

The drive came so quickly, Monasterios did not have time to react from his spot on the bench and it hit him on the right side of the head.

Monasterios never lost consciousness and was escorted into the team training room.

The Dodgers said Monasterios, who started and threw five shutout innings against the Mets on Saturday, was in good condition and did not appear to have a concussion.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Carlos Monasterios works against the Mets on Saturday. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images

Dodgers' staff in progress: Carlos Monasterios gets start Saturday, Jack Taschner replaces George Sherrill as late-inning left-hander

In their never-ending quest to determine a fifth starter, the Dodgers are going back to rookie Carlos Monasterios for the third time this season.

If at first you don’t succeed ...

The currently very cozy bullpen is getting a minor makeover, with more to come, and probably soon.

Even with Reed Johnson's lack of progress, the Dodgers decided to go at least one more game without calling up another outfielder for Thursday's game against the New York Mets.

When the Dodgers sent catcher A.J. Ellis to triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday, instead of calling up another bat, they brought up left-handed reliever Jack Taschner.

Manager Joe Torre said Taschner will take over George Sherrill’s role as the late-inning left-hander.

"He'll take on the left-handed specialist role at this point," Torre said. "We’ll use Sherrill earlier in the game and put Tas in the spot that [Sherrill] has been in until we get George to have enough good outings where he's confident knowing what's coming out and we are too.

"But we have to wait for that to happen. Up until that time, I think we need to use Taschner wherever it's called for later in the game."

Read: Sherrill was officially demoted.

The addition of Taschner on Wednesday left the Dodgers with 13 pitchers, and a bloated bullpen of eight relievers.

If the Dodgers can get through another game with a relatively unscathed bullpen, they probably would call up another right-handed bat, preferably an outfielder, by Friday.

"We certainly don't want to be at 13," Torre said. "Right now we'll stay there just until the bullpen stabilizes itself.

"I think it's realistic that in the next couple of days, we'll go back to 12."

Complicating the situation is Johnson, who is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday with a lower back strain, not progressing.

"We have no date right now for Reed Johnson," Torre said. "He's sort of stagnated there. It was getting better, getting better, but it’s not improving now. He’s not going backward, but he's not improving. He's probably going to be another week or so."

And then he probably will need to go on a rehabilitation assignment.

With Monasterios (3-2, 3.61 earned-run average) moving back to the rotation, James McDonald remains a middle reliever. McDonald has only started this season -- 12 games at Albuquerque and his outing Monday against the Giants in which he struggled (four runs on nine hits in five innings).

McDonald failed as the fifth starter at the beginning of last season, though he later found some success as a reliever. Torre, however, said the latest move doesn't mean that the Dodgers have determined that McDonald's future is as a reliever.

"Not necessarily," Torre said. "He was fine with it when we talked it. When you get at this level, you pretty much have to do what we need for the good of the team. At this point and time, I think that's where he's going to best serve us. He’s pretty durable, and he can come out of the bullpen and strike somebody out."

Somebody, however, will have to be sent down when the Dodgers call up a bat this weekend. If Taschner is now a late-inning guy, then the options are Travis Schlichting, Justin Miller (out of options) or McDonald.

And right now, with the lack of rotation depth, I'd rather have McDonald starting at Albuquerque.

Of course, other relievers could be called up (Kenley Jansen?) and the nonwaiver trading deadline is only a week away.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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