The final two major roster decisions have been made by manager Joe Torre, as Blake DeWitt has been named the starting second baseman and Charlie Haeger has been named the fifth starter, in moves just announced by the Dodgers (this time it's for real, not an April Fools joke).
"Over the long haul DeWitt needs to play everyday," said Torre, "Belliard and Carroll can play against left-handers...so we have flexibility. If someone gets hot, we'll find a spot for them." Torre also said the team initially played an April Fools prank on DeWitt this morning, telling him he had been optioned to Albuquerque. "He was joyed, relieved. That's as emotional as I've seen him in a long time," Torre said.
DeWitt made 19 spring starts at second base before tonight, has hit .339/.439/.546 this spring. Torre has said all spring that no matter who wins the second base job, there will be plenty of playing time for the other candidates, Ronnie Belliard and Jamey Carroll, who both bat right-handed, as opposed to the left-handed DeWitt.
Haeger made three starts for the Dodgers last season, pitching seven innings in two of them and getting roughed up in the other one. In 11.1 spring innings, the knuckleballer had a 2.38 ERA, with five strikeouts and 11 walks. The fifth spot in the rotation will pitch either April 10 or 11 in Florida. Torre said Haeger can pitch out of the bullpen if needed before his first start of the season.
In another roster move, Josh Towers, who gave up 10 runs in four innings last night, has been sent to Albuquerque.