Seanez making a job pitch
One of baseball’s seemingly contradictory maxims is becoming evident with the Dodgers.
Spring-training statistics don’t matter, except when they do.
Rudy Seanez, a 15-year veteran trying to squeeze one more season out of his remarkably live right arm, has pitched 8 1/3 innings without giving up a run this spring after retiring the side in order in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Seanez, who has eight strikeouts and one walk, might bump Elmer Dessens out of the bullpen, even though Seanez is a non-roster invitee and Dessens is guaranteed $1.7 million. Dodgers officials have said they will take the best roster into the season, regardless of contracts.
Another reliever making a strong impression is Chin-hui Tsao, who retired four batters in a row after giving up two hits. Tsao, however, has minor league options, so he is almost certain to begin the season at triple-A Las Vegas.
Tsao’s fastball has reached 95 mph in the last two weeks after it registered only 89 mph before Grapefruit League games began.
Wolf loaded for bear
Randy Wolf followed Derek Lowe’s strong performance Friday with his own, holding the Orioles to two runs in 5 2/3 innings and striking out seven. He threw 84 pitches and suffered no lasting effects from a line drive by Jay Payton that caromed off his left calf.
Wolf will pitch the first game of the Freeway Series on Thursday, setting him up to face the Milwaukee Brewers on April 3 in the second game of the season.
“He looks ready, just like Derek does,” Manager Grady Little said.
Repko prognosis grim
Weeks have morphed into months. That’s the grim prognosis for outfielder Jason Repko’s recovery from a hamstring injury.
Little originally said Repko’s time on the disabled list would be “measured in weeks.” He amended the assessment Saturday, saying, “It’s going to be a long time. The MRI didn’t look good.”
Repko, who suffered the injury diving for a hard-hit ball in the gap Thursday, might need surgery. First, though, he will get a second doctor’s opinion.
This is the second year in a row the aggressive Repko has had a severe injury. He was sidelined 10 weeks last year because of a sprained left ankle caused by trying to climb the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium while chasing a home run. He also was out a week earlier in spring training because of a pulled groin and had an off-season procedure to correct plantar fascia in his left foot.
Repko was batting .333, his third excellent spring training in a row, and was set to be the fourth outfielder. Repko is valued for his speed, exceptional arm and right-handed bat. The other outfielders expected to make the team -- Luis Gonzalez, Juan Pierre, Andre Ethier, Marlon Anderson, James Loney and Larry Bigbie -- bat left-handed.
Fourth starter Brad Penny, who sat out his last start because of shoulder pain, pitched well in a side session and is on track to start Monday against the New York Mets.
“He said he felt better today than he has all spring,” Little said.
Penny is scheduled to start against the Mets, then pitch the last game of the Freeway Series on Saturday.
If Penny has a setback and isn’t at full strength by opening day, Little said he would push back Penny’s first start from April 6 at San Francisco to April 10 at Dodger Stadium against the Colorado Rockies.
The fifth starter would pitch against the Giants, but whether that pitcher would be Brett Tomko or Mark Hendrickson hasn’t been determined.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal had an MRI exam on his injured left ankle and results will be available today. The exam is to determine whether there is any ligament damage. Little said Furcal had better mobility Saturday and that there has been “steady improvement.” ... Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo has been shut down from all throwing because of shoulder pain.... Reliever Yhency Brazoban pitched for the first time against hitters since his elbow ligament replacement surgery last summer. Brazoban made 20 pitches with no problems.