By Christopher Glotfelty
The 2010 season has finally begun, forcing every major league team to finalize its 25-man roster. While a couple Dodger hopefuls such as Eric Gagne and Doug Mientkiewicz failed to make the cut, manager Joe Torre has found his left-handed pinch hitter in Garret Anderson and appears confident in a few of his young pitchers.
Acquired or Returning
Dustin Yount (minor league contract): The first baseman is also the son of Hall of Famer Robin Yount. Hopefully he will end up just as good.
Garret Anderson (minor league contract): After making the team, the 37-year-old will earn $250,000. While he will see limited time in the outfield, his left-handed bat is certainly valuable in pinch-hit situations.
Ricardo “Ricky” Rivas (minor league contract): The Dodgers chose to sign the right-handed reliever after an open tryout at Camelback Ranch. There were 85 participants in total, but Rivas was the only one impressive enough to warrant a deal. He played for independent El Paso last year.
Jamie Hoffman (minor league contract): At first, Hoffman was claimed by the Nationals in December’s Rule 5 draft. He was then traded to the Yankees, but was later returned to the Dodgers.
Eric Gagne (minor league contract): The aging closer, who once invigorated Dodger crowds as he emerged from the bullpen to Twisted Sister’s “Welcome the Jungle,” has been granted his release. While it would have been exciting to have Gagne back at Dodger Stadium, he was fighting up an uphill battle.
Angel Berroa (minor league contract): The Dodgers released the veteran shortstop after his unimpressive showing in spring training. Berroa dealt with competition from Nick Green and Ching-Lung Hu.
Jason Repko (one year, $500,000): Unfortunately, Repko was never going to find playing time in the Dodgers’ crowded outfield. He just doesn’t have enough big league experience, and at this point in his career, he’s simply expendable. The team saved $375,000 of his $500,000 salary by letting him go.
Brian Barton: The Dodgers signed the 27-year-old outfielder to a minor league contract in December, but he was unable to make an impact during spring training. The Dodgers seem to have a surplus of outfielders in their system, so Barton’s loss isn’t huge.
Cory Wade: The reliever will be out three months while recovering from impending shoulder surgery.
Hong-Chi Kuo (one year, $950,000): Hurt again, Kuo will begin the season on the disabled list. The injury is to the same left elbow which has been operated on three times.
Scott Elbert: A poor performance in spring training led to him losing his spot on the roster. Given the Dodgers’ shaky relief, he’ll probably be called up from the minors within a couple of weeks.
James MacDonald: While we all hoped MacDonald would develop into the Dodgers fifth starter, his 2009 campaign left much to be desired. As of right now, it looks like MacDonald will end up a middle reliever.
Eric Stults: After failing to land the fifth starter job, management thought Stults didn’t have much use for their club. (They are wrong, of course, as Stults is a viable bullpen option considering what the team currently boasts). It was long-rumored that a Japanese team had interest in him, and now it is confirmed: The left-hander has been sold to the Hiroshima Carp for $700,000 plus bonuses.
Brian Giles (minor league contract): Giles entered the offseason competing with Xavier Paul and Jason Repko for the Dodgers’ fifth outfielder role. After getting his start with the Indians, Giles excelled with the Pirates and Padres. He finishes his career with a solid .291/.400/.502 line. Who knew?
Made the Team
Ronnie Belliard (one year, $825,000): The utility infielder has secured his contract after weighing in at 209 pounds. When the Dodgers offered Belliard a contract in February, it included a clause that said he needed to hit under 210 pounds during spring training.
Carlos Monasterios: The 23-year-old right-hander has an impressive strikeout pitch. Last year in the minors Monasterios averaged 7.6 Ks per nine innings. It’s interesting to note that he’s logged less innings in the minors than when Fernando Valenzuela made his big-league debut in 1980.
Ronald Belisario: The reliever has finally arrived after having been denied his visa in his native Venezuela. Belisario says the complications were related to his 2009 DUI arrest. After arriving to camp five weeks late, he will start the season on the restricted list as punishment.