Martin, Penny, Saito are All-Stars
Takashi Saito was aware of the possibility, but when he learned Sunday that he had made the All-Star team along with Dodgers teammates Russell Martin and Brad Penny, he had trouble expressing himself.
Martin was voted onto the National League team by fans and will be the first Canadian catcher to start in an All-Star game. Penny made the team by finishing second among pitchers on the player ballot, and Saito was picked by NL Manager Tony La Russa.
“I didn’t dare to dream of this,” Saito said. “I still need time to let this sink in.”
Saito, who has 22 saves, said he tried to downplay his hopes of being selected to avoid the disappointment of a possible omission.
Martin was pleased he wouldn’t be going to San Francisco alone for the July 10 game.
“It’s definitely going to be fun having a couple of the boys there so I can hang out with them a little bit, talk some Japanese with Sammy and Brad,” he said.
Martin received 2,039,130 votes -- almost 300,000 more than runner-up Paul Lo Duca -- and became the first Dodger to be voted into the All-Star game since Jeff Kent in 2005.
Kent advised Martin to pace himself.
“It’s a long, drawn-out two days ... Take it all in. there’s so much going on,” Kent said. “And him being new in the league, he’ll get a chance to meet some great players there. He’ll get to meet them more on the personal side than professional side, which is unique.”
Penny said he welcomed the possibility of starting his second All-Star game in a row.
“I never thought I would get an opportunity to start two games in my career, but there are a lot of other pitchers that deserve it,” Penny said. “It’s just an honor to go. To start would be a plus.”
Left-hander Mark Hendrickson will start Wednesday in place of Hong-Chih Kuo, who was optioned to triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday.
Asked if the start would be a one-time occurrence or if Hendrickson was in the rotation, Manager Grady Little replied, “When we come out of the All-Star break, we’ll do any adjusting that we want to do, but right now, it looks like he’ll be in that spot.”
Right-hander D.J. Houlton, who was recalled from Las Vegas on Saturday, will be used as a middle reliever. Houlton, 27, was 5-4 with a 3.79 earned-run average in Las Vegas, mostly as a starter.
Former Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley reported to the Padres but was immediately put on the 15-day disabled list because of a left oblique strain. The move is retroactive to June 21. Bradley said he wasn’t bothered that he missed out on the chance to play at Dodger Stadium. “I just want to get healthy and help this ballclub out,” he said.
The Dodgers and Chicago White Sox have discussed a trade that would bring left-hander Mark Buehrle to Los Angeles, with the White Sox believed to be most interested in outfielder Matt Kemp.
The Dodgers do not appear interested in that one-on-one trade at this time. It is uncertain whether the White Sox would want more than Kemp for Buehrle or would consider a trade that did not involve Kemp. When the Dodgers and White Sox spoke about outfielder Jermaine Dye this season, the White Sox were believed to be interested in pitchers Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton.
The Dodgers are exploring trades for starters and relievers. Buehrle, 28, could be the best starter available in trade this summer, but he could leave as a free agent next winter.
Dye also is eligible for free agency. With little to no power from a revolving cast of other outfielders -- Scott Podsednik, Darin Erstad, Luis Terrero, Rob Mackowiak, Brian Anderson, Ryan Sweeney and Jerry Owens -- the White Sox could envision Kemp as an upgrade now and a future anchor.
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