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Dodgers: Ramon Troncoso and Tony Abreu looking for new starts

January 15, 2009 |  9:30 pm

Troncoso_300With off-season departures creating a couple of vacancies in the Dodgers’ pitching rotation, Ramon Troncoso said he would like to get a shot at starting.

"They haven’t talked to me about it yet but I’d like to do it," Troncoso said today at a community event at Designs Charter School in Los Angeles.

Troncoso, who was a rookie reliever for the Dodgers last season, started for a winter team in the Dominican Republic as directed by the Dodgers. He pitched five innings each of his four starts, posting a 3-0 record and 2.57 earned-run average.

"He did well, so as we put the staff together, he’s a candidate to be in the rotation," General Manager Ned Colletti said.

Troncoso last started in single A in 2005.

The Dodgers lost starting pitchers Derek Lowe, Brad Penny and Greg Maddux this winter. They are looking at Jon Garland, Randy Wolf and Braden Looper. Andy Pettitte, who is close to Dodgers Manager Joe Torre but is determined to return to the New York Yankees, remains an outside possibility.

Starting over

"Everything’s fine, everything’s fine," Tony Abreu said.

The 24-year-old infielder went into spring training last year as a candidate to start at second or third base but missed the entire season because of a hip problem that required surgery. During a season that the Dodgers had to make numerous changes on the left side of their infield, Abreu heard about other players getting chances that could’ve been his.

"I thought a lot about that," Abreu said of missing out because of a second lower-body operation in as many years. "I didn’t know why that happened to me. But right now, I have a chance."

He said he played seven or eight games at the instructional league in Arizona and felt fine. He said he worked out this winter at the Dodgers’ training facility in the Dominican Republic and said he is now down to 195 pounds, some 11 pounds lighter than he was a year ago.

Trying to earn a spot on a team run by a manager he’s never played under in Torre could be a challenge, Abreu said.

Abreu denied that any tension exists between him and Dodgers’ management, which has become increasingly skeptical about his toughness because he’s missed the last 1½ seasons.

"I don’t know what they think of me because no one’s ever said anything to me about that, but they’ve been very supportive," Abreu said.

-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo: Pitcher Ramon Troncoso made the leap from double A to the Dodgers' bullpen last season. Credit: Roy Dabner / European Pressphoto Agency