Mets Become Dodger Ex-Files
The Dodgers resolved the Hideo Nomo situation Thursday by trading him to the New York Mets along with minor league pitcher Brad Clontz for pitchers Dave Mlicki and Greg McMichael.
But the upheaval at Dodger Stadium continued with word that left fielder Todd Hollandsworth will undergo shoulder surgery next week and is in danger of missing the rest of the season, leaving the Dodgers without three of the five former rookies of the year who started the season with the team.
The trade with the Mets reunites Nomo with catcher Mike Piazza and former Dodger pitching coach Dave Wallace, now an assistant general manager with the Mets, as well as Japanese pitcher Masato Yoshii, Nomo’s close friend.
It also ends the tense and unexpected chapter that began with the Dodgers’ announcement Monday that Nomo was being designated for assignment after repeatedly requesting a trade.
Amid it all, the Dodgers won their second consecutive game when catcher Charles Johnson drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out single for a dramatic 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in front of 41,181 at Dodger Stadium.
Mlicki, 29, is 1-4 with a 5.68 earned-run average in 10 starts this season, and will join the team in Seattle today. He could start during the Mariner series, perhaps instead of Dennis Reyes, who was to be Nomo’s temporary replacement.
McMichael, 31, a right-handed reliever, is 1-2 with a 3.97 ERA this season and is best remembered for his postseason appearances with the Atlanta Braves. He had left the Mets to be with his expectant wife in Georgia and has been given permission to join the team Monday in Los Angeles. The Dodgers hope he will shore up a shaky bullpen.
“I think this is a very good trade for us,” Claire said. “Dave Mlicki is a starting pitcher with outstanding ability. We’ve always liked his ability. Greg McMichael, he’s one of the top setup people in the National League and he has the ability to close as well. These are two proven guys with experience and ability. They’ll fit in great.”
Claire said Nomo and agent Don Nomura were “thrilled.”
“Very frankly, I’d say the New York Mets were their No. 1 preference,” Claire said. “That’s not why this deal was made, but it so happened the deal was best for both sides.”
Hollandsworth, who appeared in Thursday’s game as a pinch-runner, will undergo surgery next Thursday at Centinela Hospital Medical Center to repair torn cartilage after an injury called a “slap lesion” in his left shoulder was discovered in an MRI exam Thursday morning.
“I don’t know if it will be all of the season, but it certainly will be a good part of the season,” said Claire, who put Hollandsworth on the 60-day disabled list, recalling infielder Alex Cora from triple-A Albuquerque to replace him.
“It’s a major disappointment for Todd and for us. We do have Jim Eisenreich and Paul Konerko and Roger Cedeno. We have enough depth.”
Eisenreich started in left the past two games and scored the winning run Thursday, but Cedeno is likely to play when the Dodgers face left-handed pitching in Seattle.
Hollandsworth, also plagued by injuries last season, was batting .269 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. He said he injured the shoulder diving headfirst back to first base a couple of weeks ago in Chicago and called the injury the most frustrating of his career.
“It’s something I’ve been playing with and I’ve been trying to play through,” he said. “It’s just one of those situations where this thing hasn’t been taking care of itself. It hasn’t been getting better. I’ve been probably, to some degree, getting worse. It’s one of those things.
“They know that something’s not right. To what degree, it isn’t known. It could be not bad at all. That’s what we’re hoping and praying for. It could be more than that.”
With Hollandsworth out indefinitely, the Dodger stable of former rookies of the year is down to Eric Karros, who is struggling with a knee injury, and Raul Mondesi.
The Dodgers faced a seven-day deadline to deal Nomo and might have gotten less than they otherwise would have, but Claire defended the move of designating Nomo for assignment, saying he could not have made calls regarding a Nomo trade without it becoming public.
“You couldn’t have kept that quiet if you tried to. It would have been a media frenzy after the first call,” Claire said.
He called the departure of Nomo, whose striking debut helped make him wildly popular among Asian fans, the end of “an incredible chapter” in Dodger history.
Nomo, 29, was 2-7 with a 5.05 ERA this season and was said to be upset by the trade of Piazza.
“He reached the point that he thought he’d be better if he made a move, and we accommodated him,” Claire said.
* DODGERS WIN
Johnson’s hit beats Cardinals in the ninth. C9
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
WHO THE DODGERS GOT
DAVE MILICKI, Right-hander
GREG McMICHAEL, Right-hander
WHO THE METS GOT
HIDEO NOMO, Right-hander
BRAD CLONTZ, Right-hander
Deal at a Glance
This year’s statistics and career totals for the players involved in Thursday’s trade. *--*
New Dodgers IP H ER BB SO W-L ERA Mlicki 57 68 36 25 39 1-4 5.68 Career 536 1/3 551 248 210 425 24-32 4.16 McMichael 22 2/3 23 10 14 22 1-2 3.97 Career 428 378 141 148 391 26-26 2.96
New Mets IP H ER BB SO W-L ERA Nomo 67 2/3 57 38 38 73 2-7 5.05 Career 694 2/3 554 271 288 776 45-36 3.51 Clontz 20 2/3 15 13 10 14 2-0 5.66 Career 218 1/3 216 112 83 160 21-5 3.42
Note: Clontz has six career saves, McMichael has 51.