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Dodger Notes: Haeger Leads the 5th; Verdict in a Few Days

The Dodgers beat the Mariners 3-1 today at Camelback Ranch, as their spring schedule is winding down.  The Dodgers play their next three games on the road, and only have one more game at Camelback Ranch, a split squad Wednesday against the Giants.  Here are some notes from today's action, which included the long-awaited arrival of reliever Ronald Belisario to camp:

  • Charlie Haeger, battling for the fifth starter spot, was solid in his 5.1 scoreless innings of work, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out five.  "Today he was great," manager Joe Torre said, "he got our attention last year. He's calm about everything."  Haeger was happy with his knuckleball in the dry Arizona air, saying, "If I can make [the ball] move here, hopefully that translates to being able to make it move anywhere."
  • Carlos Monasterios, pitching on consecutive days for the first time this spring, something he will need to do if he pitches out of the bullpen, faltered, giving up two hits and a walk before departing without completing his one scheduled inning of work.
  • Ramon Ortiz finally had a game without a strikeout today.  Of course, he did pitch in relief and only faced two batters, allowing a hit to Chone Figgins, who was thrown out trying to steal second base.
  • Russ Ortiz gave up a long home run to Matt Tuiasosopo in the ninth inning, but did have three strikeouts in his two innings of work.  In 15 spring innings, Ortiz has given up just two walks while striking out 13 batters.
  • Torre said he and RIck Honeycutt have a good idea who they want for the fifth starter, and will likely make the announcement in the next couple of days.
  • "A couple of days" is also the timetable given for a statement on the starting second baseman.  Torre said this morning, "[Blake] DeWitt couldn't have done anymore that is within his control, he's done everything he possibly could have done and come through with high marks."
  • In Ken Gurnick's article on Doug Mientkiewicz leaving camp today, he mentions, "Torre said he hopes to have a decision on whether the Dodgers will go with 11 or 12 pitchers by Monday."  However, the club played 132 games last season before rosters expanded on September 1.  The Dodgers carried 12 pitchers in 71 of those games, and had 13 pitchers on the active roster for the other 61 games.  Couple this with the fact that there isn't much of an opportunity to skip the fifth starter at any time during the first two months, and I am very skeptical that the Dodgers will carry 11 pitchers to start the season.
  • Andre Ethier hit his third home run of the spring, and Casey Blake added two hits, including a double.  Blake has six hits in his last 10 at-bats.
  • George Sherrill was looking at video along with the coaching staff this morning to correct a mechanical flaw in his delivery, but Torre said that he's not worried about the reliever, who has given up six runs and 15 baserunners in 5.1 innings this spring.
  • Ethier is among the Dodgers scheduled to travel to Las Vegas for Wednesday's split squad game against the Reds, along with Blake, Blake DeWitt, and A.J. Ellis.

Clayton Kershaw and Ramon Troncoso are expected to pitch in tomorrow's game against the Reds in Goodyear.

Box Score