Scott Elbert is pitching with the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the AFL -- managed by Don Mattingly -- hoping to work his way back into the Dodgers' sights, after a very disappointing 2010. He struggled in Triple A, had a brief weekend stint in the majors, during which he walked three of the six batters he faced, then left the organization, going home to deal with still undisclosed personal reasons. After battling shoulder issues, he is back and looking to rebound.
Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles caught up with Elbert today, and I thought this passage were telling:
Elbert said he is hoping to receive an invitation to big league spring training, which is automatic if he stays on the 40-man roster this winter. Although he was a starter at Albuquerque this year before his departure, all indications are that the Dodgers now view him as a reliever, and given the bullpen issues the team had this year, that could bode well for Elbert in his effort to secure a spot on the Opening Day roster.
"To be honest, I would like to be a reliever," he said. "If that is going to be my job, then that is what I will prepare for. ... I don't ever think [starting] is out of the question, but I have always been known as a high pitch-count guy, and if I'm able to bring that down and go deeper into games, maybe I can be a starter again. Nothing is ever out of the question in this game."
Elbert has one option year remaining.