Taiwan Trip Opened Up Doors For The No-Name Gang

Andrew Lambo, fresh from minor league camp, greets Blake DeWitt at home plate on Saturday against the Diamondbacks (Photo by Juan Ocampo / LA Dodgers)

The Dodgers' trip to Taiwan provided a fun opportunity for many players and team employees to experience a different culture, and play some baseball in a festive environment, even it was only for two games instead of three.  The trip also affected the Dodgers left behind in Arizona, as roughly half the team was half a world away.  As a result, the Dodgers gave plenty of playing time to many of their youngsters, giving them the opportunity to suit up (you know, in high-numbered nameless jerseys) in big league games.  Here's a summary of recent draftees with their playing time over the last six games:

Player Age Draft Level G PA Comments
Pedro Baez 22 2007* A+ 4 6 *signed out of Dominican Republic
Steven Caseres 23 2008 A+ 3 3 Got a hit, a walk, and scored a run
Brian Cavazos-Galvez    
23 2009 Rookie 2 1 One PA, one booming HR
Dee Gordon 22 2008 A 2 2
Andrew Lambo 21 2007 AA 4 5 Two walks and a run scored
Preston Mattingly 22 2006 A+ 2 3 A hit and a run, playing for pops
Jaime Pedroza 23 2007 A 1 1
Kyle Russell 24 2008 A 2 5 Delivered first RBI among minor leaguers
Angelo Songco 21 2009 A 2 3 A double and a homer in 3 PA
Scott Van Slyke 23 2005 A+** 3 4 A hit and an RBI
Matt Wallach 24 2007 A 1 1 son of Tim
Pitcher Age Draft Level G IP Comments
Ethan Martin 21 2008 A 1 1.0 scoreless inning vs Angels today
Matt Sartor 25 2007* AA 1 0.1 *undrafted FA signed in 2007
Chris Withrow 21 2009 AA 1 1.0 3 strikeouts in his stellar debut

**Scott Van Slyke did play three games in Triple A at the end of 2009.

That's a total of 34 plate appearances and 2.1 innings in big league camp from recently acquired amateur talent.  In addition to this group of youngsters, others from minor league camp who have played in spring games are Jay Gibbons, Anthony Hatch, Christian Lara, Timo Perez, and Brandon Watson.

Now that the Taiwan travelers are back in camp, coupled with tomorrow's off day and the minor league games starting Friday, I suspect there will be a scant few, if any, opportunities for the young guns in big league camp.  But it was fun while it lasted.

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