Rafael Furcal will be activated Tuesday before the first game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, manager Joe Torre said today. A corresponding move will not be made until Tuesday, as the Dodgers try to buy time to weigh their options. In addition to designating Nick Green for assignment or optioning Blake DeWitt, Torre said the fact that they are skipping the fifth starter Monday gives the team another roster move option, implying that perhaps a pitcher could be moved to accommodate Furcal. Although Torre didn't mention this explicitly, the most obvious pitcher move would be to designate Ramon Ortiz for assignment.
Jonathan Broxton is not available to pitch today, after pitching in three straight days. Hong-Chih Kuo, who warmed up Friday night and pitched an inning yesterday, is doubtful today. Torre said the closer would depend on the situation, although reading between the Bigelow Green Tea leaves it would seem Belisario is the most likely option. Torre said George Sherrill has been inconsistent, and that he is more likely to be used earlier in the game to get a left-handed batter out. Torre is also unsure of what to expect from the struggling Ramon Troncoso, whom Torre said was overthrowing the ball yesterday.
Torre also likes Russell Martin near the top of the order, and indicated Martin would likely bat second behind Furcal, at least until Andre Ethier is activated from the disabled list.
The last time the Dodgers swept an interleague series was May 19-21, 2006, against the Angels.
Torre was saddened to hear of the passing of Jose Lima, barely more than 24 hours after he was in the stands at Dodger Stadium watching two of his former teams play. Torre described Lima quite well: "You don't know if he had confidence in himself or whether he was talking himself and everybody else into it."
Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.
Game Time: 1:10pm
TV: Prime Ticket