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Sunday, May 9, 2010

John Ely Back To AAA, Ramon Ortiz Lucky To Be A Veteran

The Dodgers activated Jeff Weaver prior to Friday's game, and in order to do so had to clear a spot on the 25-man roster. The obvious guy to remove would be Ramon Ortiz, he of the general suckiness and awful pitching. Instead, they opted to send John Ely back down to AAA.

I, along with pretty much every other Dodger fan, saw this one coming. Most of us hoped differently, but knew that unless the Dodgers fundamentally change their approach to roster management, it was going to come to this.

Now I don't have a problem if the Dodgers feel AAA is the best spot for Ely for the time being. Ely isn't an elite prospect and doesn't have tremendous stuff, but I think if he reaches his ceiling he can be a solid contributor in the back end of the rotation, and if he were to surpass his ceiling, could potentially be a serviceable fringe Number 3 starter.

John Ely had minor league options left, and could be sent down without being exposed to waivers; Ramon Ortiz could not, and could be claimed if the club tried to send him down. Would he have been claimed? I wouldn't if the decision were mine, but he probably could have found work or at least the opportunity of work elsewhere. That being said, the Dodgers were actually scared to lose him, and thus kept him on the 25-man roster.

Let me repeat that: the Dodgers fear that without Ramon Ortiz pitching for them, the bullpen would suffer, and consequently the team would suffer. Life without Ramon Ortiz would be worse in the eyes of Dodgers brass with a say in this decision.

Ely could very well be recalled for Tuesday's game, but only if a pitcher is DL'd before then, and after Charlie Haeger's "start" Saturday and George Sherrill being George Sherrill, that seems more and more likely by the second.

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