Notes On A Whiteboard: Add J.D. Closser & Jon Huber To The NRI List

A picture is worth a thousand words...or 51 Dodger uniforms (Photo: Jon SooHoo / LA Dodgers)

Will catcher J.D. Closser and pitcher Jon Huber join the Dodgers in major league camp in spring training? It appears so. Yesterday, pop culture and soccer blogger extraordinaire Josie Becker posted a link in the comments to a photo of Juan Uribe when he joined the Dodgers. That photo, taken by longtime Dodgers (and USC) photographer Jon SooHoo, shows Uribe in the Dodger locker room in front of the whiteboard near the entrance. That photo is above.

The whiteboard lists the Dodger roster, and from the photo we know these things:

  • The Dodgers, like just everybody, knew George Sherrill was going to be non-tendered on December 2. This photo was taken on November 30, the day Uribe visited Dodger Stadium to finalize his contract, which was two days before the non-tender deadline. As you can see, both Russell Martin and Trent Oeltjen are listed on the roster, but number 52 was already given to non-roster invitee Oscar Villarreal, who was signed on November 23.
  • The players on the 40-man roster are listed in blue, coaches in red, and non-roster invitees in orange
  • We already knew about NRIs Dana Eveland (#47) and Villarreal, plus Oeltjen, who re-signed a minor league deal this week, after he was non-tendered. However, there are two other players in orange on the whiteboard. Closser (#77), who turns 31 in January, has caught in the Dodgers minor league system the last two seasons, mostly in Albuquerque. Huber (#76), 29, signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in May after being released by the Braves, and he pitched 44 1/3 innings out of the bullpen for Double A Chattanooga. Huber has the distinction of once being traded, from San Diego to Seattle in 2004, for current Dodgers hitting instructor Dave Hansen. Did I mention that you can find the list of non-roster invitees to spring training here?
  • Rod Barajas likely won't wear number 28 in 2011, which he wore in 2010 with the Dodgers, because that number is taken by new third base coach Tim Wallach. David Young pointed out that every number Barajas has ever worn in the major leagues (48, 27, 2, 23, 20, 21, and 28) is either taken or retired by the Dodgers.
  • Pitcher Blake Hawksworth, who was acquired from the Cardinals for second baseman Ryan Theriot, will wear number 36.
  • Jon Garland will wear number 21, the same number he wore in his breif six-start stint in Los Angeles in 2009.
  • Davey Lopes, who wore number 15 in his 10 years as a player with the Dodgers, will wear number 30 as the new first base coach.
  • John Lindsey is not long for this roster. As astutely noted by Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness, Lindsey's old number 35 is also blank. The Dodgers will have a full 40-man roster once the Gwynn and Navarro signings are finalized, meaning they will need another roster spot when the inevitable Bill Hall signing (or someone similar) for left field happens. Lindsey just might be the guy who gets removed from the 40-man when that happens.
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