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Category: John Ely

End of mania? Dodgers outright John Ely, Carlos Monasterios

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During a miserable 2010 season, John Ely and Carlos Monasterios had moments of near inspiration. Moments, however, does not a season -– nor a career -– make.

So it’s come to this: The two former emergency starting pitchers were outrighted to triple-A Albuquerque just before Thursday night’s deadline to set the 40-man roster and protect players from the Rule 5 draft.

Which is how the Dodgers originally acquired Monasterios, of course.

Carlos-monasterios_250The Dodgers added five minor leaguers to the 40-man roster to protect them from the draft, leaving their roster at 38.

In 2010 the Dodgers went into the season without a real No. 5 starter, and soon it was tryout time. Ely got the call in May, and much to everyone’s surprise, initially pitched exceedingly well.

After seven starts, while the light-throwing right-hander’s control was sharp, he was 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA. He even inspired a fan’s conceived Elymania cover of Sports Illustrated (@PA_Dodger via Blue Heaven).

Alas, it was not to last. He finished the season 4-10 with a 5.49 ERA. Ely, 25, spent most of last season at Albuquerque where he went 7-8 with a 5.99 ERA.

The Dodgers kept Monasterios, 25, on the 2010 roster all season to keep his rights. He appeared in 32 games, including 13 starts, going 3-5 with a 4.38 ERA. He appeared in only one game at Albuquerque last season before injuring his elbow and undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Of the five players joining the 40-man, only two were drafted by the Dodgers. Added were:

-- Outfielder Alex Catellanos, 25: He came from the Cardinals for Rafael Furcal. In 121 at-bats at double-A Chattanooga he hit .322, with .406 on-base and .603 slugging percentages.

-- Right-hander Stephen Fife, 25: A starter who came in the Trayvon Robinson trade, had a combined 3.74 ERA at double-A but has seriously struggled in the Arizona Fall League (1-6, 8.06 ERA).

-- Right-hander Chris Withrow, 22: Another former first-round pick from Texas, he went 6-6 with a 4.20 ERA at double-A, with 130 strikeouts in 128 2/3 innings.

-- Right-hander Josh Wall, 24: A former second-round pick, he was a middle reliever at double-A who went 4-5 with a 3.93 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings.

-- Left-hander Michael Antonini, 26: A starter who came from the Mets for Chin-Lung Hu, and finished 10-9 with a 4.01 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 148 innings at double-A.

The Dodgers previously added outfielders Scott Van Slyke and Alfredo Silverio to their 40-man.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photos: (Top) John Ely pitches against the Detroit Tigers during an interlegaue game in 2010. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times. (Bottom) Carlos Monasterios posing during media day. Credit: Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images

Daily Dodger in review: Nathan Eovaldi, hurler no one saw coming

NATHAN EOVALDI, 21, starting pitcher

Final 2011 stats: 1-2, 3.63 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, six strikeouts per nine innings, .230 opponent batting average in 34 2/3 innings.

Contract status: Under team control.

The good: He was the torpedo no one saw on the radar until suddenly he hit. An 11th-round draft pick in 2008, Eovaldi had gone a combined 4-6 with a 4.30 ERA in three minor-league stops in 2010.

He started last season at double-A Chattanooga, where he was really scheduled to spend the year. But when Rubby De La Rosa, who had been previously plucked from Chattanooga, was lost to elbow surgery, the Dodgers called up Eovaldi to join the rotation. He was 6-5 with a 3.62 ERA at Chattanooga.

In his six starts for the Dodgers, he went 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA. In five of them, he went at least five innings and allowed two runs or less. Because he's only 21, to play it safe they took him out of the rotation as a precautionary move.

The bad: Four vowels vs. three consonants. After nine days off following his last start, he struggled in four relief appearances (a 10.13 ERA).

What’s next: At the moment, he probably has one of the five spots in next season’s rotation. If the Dodgers do resign Hiroki Kuroda, they may add another established pitcher to the rotation and allow Eovaldi to spend another season in the minors.

The take: It’s always dangerous to get carried away by a small string of games by a young pitcher (see: John Ely), but the Dodgers certainly liked what they saw of Eovaldi during his six-game stretch as a starter.

He wasn’t hitting 100 mph on the radar and raising eyebrows like De La Rosa, but he still showed an impressive fastball and solid poise for a young right-hander fresh up from double-A.

The Dodgers have reason to be leery of starting the season with Eovaldi in the rotation, but neither will they be afraid to. He could no doubt benefit by developing his other pitches in the minors for one more season, which is no doubt the best-case scenario.

But when your team is bankrupt and ownership is in chaos, best-case scenarios have a way of melting away. Which is why you’d best hope that those six starts last season were a true indicator of what he can do over the course of a full season.

— Steve Dilbeck

Daily Dodger in review: The incomplete book of John Ely

John1
JOHN ELY
, 25, right-handed pitcher

Final 2011 stats: 0-1, 4.26 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 13 strikeouts and seven walks in 12 2/3 innings.

Contract status: Under team control.

The good: Did not allow a run in his final three appearances, all in relief. Though he’ll never be considered an overpowering pitcher, he did strike out 13 in his 12 2/3 innings.

The bad: It wasn’t that he was terrible, as much as forgettable. Not that the Dodgers really used him enough to know if he’d made any progress over his rookie season. But at triple-A Albuquerque, his numbers weren’t any better (7-8, 5.99 ERA, 1.54 WHIP). You can try to write that off as largely a product of the rarefied Albuquerque air, but he did well enough there last year to get his call-up. And Dana Eveland was 12-8 with a 4.38 ERA at Albuquerque.

What’s next: The Dodgers will hang on to him, albeit with another trip back to Albuquerque. He got one early-season, emergency start in April and was exclusively a starter at Albuquerque but they may have to consider him as a reliever.

The take: The Book of Ely will always refer back to his unexpected and fairly stunning appearance on the scene in 2010. That’s when the Dodgers were dying for a fifth starter, called him up and were the most surprised people in town when he used sharp control to go 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in a six-game stretch.

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Dodgers place Rubby De La Rosa on DL with sprained elbow [Update]

Rubby Well, there is a certain consistency to the Dodgers’ crumbling season.

One day after their would-be pitching wunderkind, Rubby De La Rosa, was roughed up in an 103-pitch, four-inning effort Sunday against Arizona, the Dodgers placed him on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation.

[Update: The results of an MRI exam showed a sprained right elbow ligament. The Times' Dylan Hernandez reports De La Rosa could be done for the season, and surgery is a possibility.]

In a mostly frustrating season for the bankrupt Dodgers, they had gambled and called up De La Rosa from double-A Chattanooga at the end of May.

And their 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year mostly delivered.

De La Rosa, 22, was 4-4 with a 3.49 ERA going into Sunday’s game. He was hitting up to 100 mph on the radar gun and had a competitive demeanor on the mound that belied his youth.

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Yikes, Dodgers go young: Call up Dee Gordon, keep Jerry Sands as Jay Gibbons, Juan Castro designated for assignment

Jerry-sands_600

Even as the Dodgers activated two players older than 30 Monday, they managed to get younger with a series of stunning moves.

Suddenly, this is not the same Dodgers organization you’ve known the last two seasons. Kids were everywhere.

On Monday the Dodgers elected to keep rookie outfielder Jerry Sands and designate veteran Jay Gibbons for assignment, while calling up shortstop prospect Dee Gordon and also designating veteran infielder Juan Castro.

Busy on the roster front, as expected they also activated infielder Juan Uribe, outfielder Marcus Thames and reliever Blake Hawksworth.

Then they optioned infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr.and right-hander John Ely back to triple-A.

If you were screaming for the Dodgers to go with youth, Monday was your big day.

Gordon has been one of their top prospects for the last couple of years. The rail-thin infielder has zero power but is lightning fast. At triple-A Albuquerque, he was batting .315 with 22 steals in 25 attempts. His glove work, however has been suspect.

Still, the Dodgers did not bring Gordon up to sit him. With Rafael Furcal again on the disabled list, he figures to see his share of starting time at shortstop. Monday against the Phillies, however, they continued to start Jamey Carroll at short and Aaron Miles at second.

Uribe was back in the lineup at second, Thames in left (and batting third) and Sands in right for Andre Ethier against the left-handed Cliff Lee.

The Dodgers had agonized over whether to return Sands to Albuquerque. Sands has not been the sensation some hoped for but has shown promise (.210 average, two homers, 17 RBI, 10 doubles in 119 at-bats) and now figures to get a prolonged chance to stick.

After a comeback year at Albuquerque in 2010, Gibbons, 34, struggled with vision problems this year. He was hitting .255 with one homer and five RBI in 55 at-bats.

Castro, who turns 39 later this month, had two hits in 14 at-bats and was an emergency fill-in. He was reliable with the glove and a classy guy to have in the clubhouse, but this may end his career.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers rookie Jerry Sands in congratulated by third baseman Casey Blake after throwing out a Cubs baserunner earlier this season. Credit: Charles Cherney / Associated Press

Dodgers keep it rolling with 9-6 victory over Reds, as Matt Kemp homers again

Dodgers1_600

This time, there was a carryover effect. A very quick one, too.

The Dodgers followed their most thrilling, if unlikely, victory of the season on Saturday with quick offensive explosion Sunday. And then just kept it going.

By the time it was over, after Matt Kemp had hit another home run, the Dodgers had a 9-6 victory and were feeling like they had tapped into their season’s elusive quality -- momentum.

The Dodgers scored runs in five of their first six innings, collecting 13 hits and 10 walks. Every Dodger starter picked up at least one hit and seven scored.

Two of the hits came from starting pitcher Chad Billingsley, who in an 11-pitch at-bat, hit a solo home run, walked to force in a run and doubled in a third. The three RBIs were a career high.

One more than even Kemp managed, which is not to say the hot-hitting outfielder slowed down.

Coming off that 11-8 comeback victory the previous day, the Dodgers jumped on Cincinnati starter Travis Wood for three runs in the first inning. Jamey Carroll walked, took third on an Aaron Miles double and scored on an Andre Ethier sacrifice fly.

At which time Kemp hit his third home run in two days, this one a two-run shot. That left him with 48 RBIs, tops in the National League. He went two for three Sunday with three walks. He now has 16 home runs on the season, second in the N.L.

Billingsley homered for the second time in his career in the second inninng, and then the Dodgers scored three more times in the third. Catcher Rod Barajas, who had been a stunning one for 34 with runners in scoring position, doubled in two, and a bases-loaded walk to Billingsley forced in a third.

The Dodgers’ offense took the fourth off, but then came back with single runs in the fifth (Billingsley RBI double) and sixth (Jerry Sands RBI single). A regular offensive machine.

By then they were up 9-3, and even Billingsley was laboring on the mound, it was a comfortable cushion. Billingsley (5-4) went five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks.

John Ely surrendered two runs in his three-plus innings, with rookie Josh Lindblom getting the final three outs to help the Dodgers win their third series in a row.

RELATED:

Dodgers-Reds box score

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Pitcher Chad Billingsley (58) is congratulated by second baseman Aaron Miles after hitting a solo home run against the Reds in the second inning on Sunday in Cincinnati. Credit: Mark Lyons / EPA

Rafael Furcal, Jon Garland officially placed on the disabled list

Dodgers-disabled

Rafael Furcal and Jon Garland were officially placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday. Furcal suffered a strained side muscle in the Dodgers' 2-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night. Garland has shoulder inflammation.

The Dodgers summoned infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and pitcher John Ely from triple-A Albuquerque to take their places on the active roster.

Not counting minor-league rehabilitation assignments, nine of the 25 players on the Dodgers' active roster have played for Triple-A Albuquerque or Double-A Chattanooga this season.

The Dodgers now have 10 players on the disabled list.

-- Dylan Hernandez in Cincinnati

Photo: Dodgers players Rafael Furcal, left, and Jon Garland. Credit: Associated Press and Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire

Dodgers call up Jamie Hoffmann, return John Ely to triple-A; Jon Garland lined up to start Friday

Jamie-hoffman_150 Hope he can hit.

The Dodgers added outfielder Jamie Hoffmann (pictured at left) to the 25-man roster before their game Monday against the Giants and sent right-hander John Ely back to triple-A Albuquerque.

That means the Dodgers are ready to activate right-hander Jon Garland the next time the fifth spot in the rotation comes up on Friday.

Which also means Hoffmann is scheduled to hang around for four games until then. Unless, of course, he actually hits in those few days and forces his way for a longer stay. The way the Dodgers are hitting, the opening is certainly there.

Hoffmann is the outfielder claimed in the Rule 5 draft a year ago, who nearly made the Yankees before being returned to the Dodgers.

In his first four games at Albuquerque, the right-handed hitting Hoffman was five for 11, with a pair of runs batted in and runs.

Ely started Sunday against the Padres
and was fairly mediocre. He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out five.

Garland, meanwhile, threw a rehab game for the Inland Empire 66ers on Sunday. He allowed three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo credit: Morry Gash / Associated Press

The curious case of Hector Gimenez

Gimenez_275 A team has to call up a player from the minor leagues or activate someone from the disabled list. But for that to happen, a roster spot has to be cleared. On the day of the roster move, another player happens to reveal that he is injured. The injured player is moved to the disabled list. Like that, a roster spot is created.

Isn’t it strange how frequently this happens?

Well, the Dodgers had to promote John Ely from triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday and, suddenly, the pain in backup catcher Hector Gimenez’s right knee became so severe that he had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The Dodgers insisted Gimenez was really hurt, as did Gimenez.

In fact, Manager Don Mattingly said fellow catcher A.J. Ellis was on his way to Albuquerque until assistant trainer Todd Tomczyk informed him that Gimenez was in pain.

Ellis had his bags packed.

“I was organizing,” Ellis later said.

Ellis has a minor-league option remaining, meaning he can be demoted without having to clear waivers. Gimenez, though, is out of options and could be claimed by another team if he's sent back to the minors.

But Ellis, who is considered the stronger defensive catcher, was behind the plate for the Dodgers' shutout victory on Saturday night. Gimenez is one for seven batting this season.

Gimenez supported Mattingly’s account.

“They asked me how I was feeling,” Gimenez said. “I told them it wasn’t getting any better.”

Gimenez said his knee has been bothering him since spring training. He said he would return to the Dodgers’ spring training complex in Arizona to receive treatment.

-- Dylan Hernandez in San Diego

Photo: Hector Gimenez during a spring training game. Credit: Jake Roth / US Presswire

Dodgers still waiting for their offense to awaken after 7-2 loss to Padres

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Brother, can you spare some offense? Just a tiny little speck of offense?

Even the most optimistic of Dodgers fans did not expect the team to be an offensive force this season. Neither did the most negative expect them to rely heavily on opposing defenses going all Keystone Kops on them in order to generate any run production.

Alas, nine games in and the Dodgers' offense has mostly played as though it still was in Arizona, trotting out for another meaningless spring game.

Their offensive struggles continued Sunday against the Padres and right-hander Aaron Harang, who last year on a good Reds team was 6-7 with a 5.32 earned-run average.

Harang held the Dodgers to three hits in his six-plus innings. The Dodgers mustered one more hit the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, the offensively inept Padres hit three home runs on the way to an easy 7-2 victory. The Padres had hit a total of three home runs in their first seven games.

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