Posts Tagged ‘Rod Barajas’

Dodgers notebook, 6/28

June 28, 2011 Comments off

Broxton to be shut down for three weeks

MINNEAPOLIS — After having an MRI on his elbow on Monday, Jonathan Broxton will be shut down for three weeks, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Broxton felt pain in his elbow Sunday, and the MRI showed that he is still dealing with the bone bruise that put him on the disabled list in May. In a best-case scenario, he could return to the Dodgers some time in August.

Though Broxton felt ready to return before two rehab outings, the bone bruise either never fully healed or returned after he got back on the mound.

“You get out there on the field and you use another gear, and obviously when he got to that, that’s when he felt it again,” Mattingly said. “Or it came from it, at least. He didn’t feel it at the time, but he obviously irritated it to the point where it came back.”

Mattingly said that he is prepared to continue with a closer-by-committee approach for now, choosing who will close out games based on the situations and matchups. He also noted that Javy Guerra has emerged as the best option in the back end of the bullpen.

But with an injury that has already lasted much longer than expected, there’s a chance Broxton could not pitch again for the Dodgers this season.

“We’re at a timetable now that’s getting to be so far out again that — he did that once, he did the three weeks, the slow return and all that, and we got back to here,” Mattingly said. “It’s just hard to say, you know, ‘We’re going to get him in six weeks, or seven weeks, or eight weeks.’

“To me, at this point, if he gets back, great, all the better. But you’ve got to kind of move forward.”

Barajas could play rehab games this weekend

MINNEAPOLIS — Catcher Rod Barajas (right ankle sprain) could play in rehab games this weekend, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday’s game at Target Field.

Barajas, who has been on the disabled list since June 19, has been taking batting practice, throwing and participating in other baseball activities.

“Right now, he seems to be either on track or right there — right on it,” Mattingly said. “It could be a couple of days, to make sure [he’s ready].”

Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal (strained left oblique) continues to rehab with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Furcal had four at-bats Monday night while leading off and playing shortstop. He finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Mattingly said he believed Furcal was scheduled for nine innings at shortstop Tuesday night, and would DH on Wednesday. Furcal still has no target date for his return.

“He’s doing well,” Mattingly said. “We want him to be ready.”

Gwynn on a tear recently for Dodgers

MINNEAPOLIS — After the game Monday night, someone had put tape over the name on the back of Tony Gwynn’s jersey. On the tape, they had written the name Caleb.

Before discussing his four-hit game as a part of the Dodgers’ 15-0 victory over the Twins at Target Field, Gwynn explained the significance of the name.

“Caleb was one of the people God chose to go look at some land, and when they went to go look at it, all the people who were also chosen to go look saw how strong and powerful the people who were already on the land were, and convinced everybody else not to try and go fight for this land,” Gwynn said.

“And Caleb felt like, with what God provided, they didn’t have to worry, they were going to be alright. … We had that in chapel the other day, so I’ve been trying to use it as my motivation.”

Whatever is motivating Gwynn, it’s been working over the last two days.

In the Dodgers’ victories Sunday and Monday over the Angels and Twins, Gwynn hit .636, collecting seven hits in 11 at-bats, including a walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday. Gwynn also scored two runs with a triple, three RBIs, two stolen bases and an outfield assist over that stretch.

Gwynn sparked the offense Monday, as they matched a club record with 25 hits and set a new season high with 15 runs.

“We were able to just find holes and hit balls hard,” Gwynn said. “When we didn’t hit balls hard, we found holes. I think that was just one of those games you enjoy being part of and getting the ‘W’ out of it.

“We definitely haven’t had enough of those. … Just finding holes and getting calls here and there, we haven’t had enough of that. It’s nice to get a victory like that.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Barajas’ three-hit debut propels Dodgers

August 24, 2010 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — Growing up in Southern California, catcher Rod Barajas dreamed of some day playing for the Dodgers. Once given the opportunity, Barajas made the most of it.

Before the game Tuesday night, Dodgers manager Joe Torre talked about the offense his new catcher could provide and how that could boost his ballclub. In particular, Torre talked about Barajas being a home run threat.

Coming into a new clubhouse as he joined the Dodgers in Milwaukee, Barajas just wanted to get the first hit out of the way. He did a lot more than that.

Barajas was even better at the plate than advertised in his first game in a Dodgers uniform, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a three-run homer in a 5-3 victory over the Brewers.

“It was nice,” Barajas said. “I try not to do too much. I was excited, nervous, a little bit of everything. I think getting that first base hit — something I’ve never really done in my career, hit a ball down the line like that — kind of got the nerves out of the way.

“From there on, it was just regular baseball.”

Barajas’ blast, off Brewers starter Dave Bush with two out in the sixth, put the Dodgers back on top and proved to be the eventual game-winner in the first of a three-game set with the Crew at Miller Park.

It was the 13th home run of the season for Barajas, who also increased his RBI total to 37 on the season. Perhaps more significant for Barajas, it was his first homer with the Dodgers.

“It’s been exciting,” he said of the last 48 hours. “The fact that I came to the Dodgers was the real exciting part. If it was any other team, then I probably wouldn’t be as excited. But being an L.A. boy and growing up cheering for these guys, I was nervous coming in here meeting new guys and performing with all my family and friends watching.

“They’ve said all along, we’d love to have you over here. I was afraid that if I didn’t do well, I’d get some bad text messages. It’s been a little hectic, but it’s been great.”

With the Dodgers trailing 3-2 at the time, Barajas came to the plate with two on and two out, following back-to-back singles by Ronnie Belliard and Jamey Carroll.

Given a 2-2 slider that caught too much of the plate, Barajas jumped on it, belting the pitch from Bush into the Brewers bullpen in left-center.

“It was supposed to be a slider around the bottom of the zone,” Bush said. “It just backed up. It was a terrible pitch, no two ways about it. It didn’t do much of anything.”

While Barajas made an excellent first impression, left-handed starter Ted Lilly has been doing so for the past three weeks.

Lilly continued to impress, tossing 6 1/3 innings while giving up just three runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Lilly (8-8) has enjoyed success throughout his career against the Brewers, posting a 5-2 record with a 3.54 ERA. This season, Lilly has allowed just four runs over 22 1/3 innings against the Crew.

Since joining the Dodgers at the Trade Deadline, Lilly has gone 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA, giving up just seven runs over 34 1/3 innings in five starts.

While his performance Tuesday night was decidedly uncharacteristic for Lilly, the lefty was fortunate enough to escape with just the three runs allowed against a potent Brewers lineup.

“I got away with quite a few pitches,” Lilly said. “I just wasn’t locating. I was leaving just about everything arm side on all my misses. We got some good ‘D’ and I got away with a few and a few of the balls that were hit hard, were right at guys.

“Fortunately, we came up with some big hits.”

Most impressive defensively was a big double play turned by Belliard at third base in the eighth.

Following a one-out double by Prince Fielder, Belliard snagged a hard liner off the bat of Casey McGehee and fired quickly to second base, doubling off Fielder and ending the inning.

“Heck of a play. So quick,” Torre said. “It’s not easy catching a ball and then getting rid of it, but to throw over the runner too, that was a huge play in that inning.”

The Dodgers had fallen behind just an inning before Barajas’ home run on a two-out solo home run off the bat of Rickie Weeks, which was followed by an Alcides Escobar single and Ryan Braun’s RBI double into the corner in left field.

Those two runs put the Brewers on top after the Dodgers had taken an early 2-0 lead.

In the second, the Dodgers’ other two runs came on another homer, as center fielder Matt Kemp belted a ball off the scoreboard in center field, measuring an estimated 447 feet.

Kemp and Barajas continued the Dodgers’ recent power surge, which has seen the club smack seven home runs in the last three games while scoring 15 runs on 30 hits.

Before this current stretch, the Dodgers had scored 17 runs in the previous eight games.

“Hopefully we can build on something,” Torre said. “We keep threatening to, we just need to do that. We need to win a handful of games. But you can only do it one game at a time.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers beat 8/24

August 24, 2010 Comments off

Dodgers not affect by Manny rumors

MILWAUKEE — As far as his manager is concerned, the rumors swirling about a potential trade involving Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez is no different now than a month ago.

“I don’t think it’s anything different than [what] goes on in July with all the rumors that fly around in July about trade possibilities,” Joe Torre said. “I don’t see any concern.”

It’s been speculated that, barring any significant Dodgers winning streak, Ramirez could be placed on waivers sometime this week.

Among the teams that expressed interest in acquiring Ramirez before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline were the White Sox and Rays. To be traded by the end of this month, Ramirez would first need to clear waivers.

If placed on waivers, Ramirez could go to a team that claims him, he could be traded to that team, or he could be pulled back by the Dodgers and remain with the club through the end of the 2010 season.

Despite all the interest in Ramirez’s potential departure from Los Angeles this week, Torre expressed little concern over the effect on Ramirez.

“In this game, because it is the game of baseball, you’re really bred to deal with distractions,” Torre said. “That’s our job. I don’t see it affecting anything at this point.”

Barajas in lineup on first day with Dodgers

MILWAUKEE — Newly-acquired catcher Rod Barajas joined the Dodgers in Milwaukee on Tuesday. On his first day with the club, Barajas was inserted into the starting lineup right away by manager Joe Torre.

The Dodgers claimed Barajas off waivers over the weekend, sending cash to the Mets in exchange for the veteran catcher. With Russell Martin out for the season due to a hip injury, Barajas fills the Dodgers’ void behind the plate.

Before acquiring Barajas, the Dodgers had used Brad Ausmus and A.J. Ellis at catcher. Upon acquiring Barajas, Ellis was optioned to the Minors. While he likes Barajas’ ability behind the plate as well, Torre especially likes the additional offense he can provide at catcher.

“Offensively, he gives us a little more,” Torre said. “Obviously, I’ve been very satisfied with the defensive side of the game with our catchers. But we’ve sort of been limited, even though we’ve had some contributions offensively. We’ve been lacking a little bit.

“The fact that he is a threat to hit the ball out of the ballpark gives us a little bit different dimension there.”

Barajas is hitting .225 on the season with 12 home runs and a .677 OPS, which is far better than the .492 OPS for Ausmus and Ellis’ .440 mark.

Torre said he remained unsure of how he would use Barajas and Ausmus, but he wanted to see what the Dodgers had in Barajas before making a decision.

“I don’t know yet, we’ll play him [Tuesday],” Torre said. “My guess is he’ll get a good portion of the playing time, and we’ll give Ausmus a couple games a week.

“I could make more decisions after watching him.”

Billingsley pushed back to Saturday

MILWAUKEE — With Chad Billingsley still feeling the effects of a minor calf injury, Dodgers manager Joe Torre shook up his starting rotation a bit once again on Tuesday.

Billingsley has been bumped back to start Saturday night in Colorado, while rookie right-hander Carlos Monasterios will get the nod for Thursday’s series finale at Miller Park.

“He probably could’ve pitched Thursday,” Torre said of Billingsley. “But with the fact that we needed a fifth starter Saturday, we figured we’d rather give him the extra couple days.”

Covering first base on a grounder on Saturday in the second inning, Billingsley said he “kind of tweaked” his calf, but was unaffected by the injury.

According to Torre, the calf bothers Billingsley more off the mound than on it.

“It may not make a difference,” Torre said of the extra time off. “But if it’s going to be a plus for him, then so be it. As long as we needed the fifth starter one place or the other, we just decided to give him the extra days off.”

Torre attends Selig ceremony Tuesday

MILWAUKEE — With the Brewers having honored Allan H. “Bud” Selig with a ceremony earlier in the afternoon, Dodgers manager Joe Torre took some time before Tuesday’s game to reflect on his relationship with the Commissioner.

Torre, who attended the ceremony with his brother, Frank, and a long list of local and national dignitaries, had nothing but positive things to say about Selig and the ceremony honoring the man who he first met during his playing days with the Milwaukee Braves.

“I was very touched by the whole thing because I’ve known Bud so long, since like ’56,” Torre said. “He sold me my first car.”

When Torre broke into the big leagues with Milwaukee in 1960, Selig was working with his father for a car leasing business at the time. But Selig’s true passion was baseball, and he was the team’s largest public stockholder before the Braves left Milwaukee in 1965.

While they shared their time in Milwaukee, Torre and Selig formed a lasting friendship.

“I’ve known Bud for a long time and the one thing that’s been consistent with him, whether you agree with him or don’t agree with him, he’s never lost his excitement for the game and his passion to do the right thing,” Torre said.

“It’s tough to not get emotional when you see how long he’s been doing this, and they wouldn’t have anything like this unless it was for him, because this ballclub left in ’65 and it looked very bleak for this city.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.