Sturtze is cut, and then kept

Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Tanyon Sturtze sat at his locker Wednesday afternoon, packing his bags and shaking hands with teammates. Dodgers Manager Joe Torre had just told the reliever that the team had cut him.

That kind of scene is common in the major leagues. This one is not: Torre talked to Sturtze again a few minutes later, this time to tell him the Dodgers would not cut him Wednesday, leaving him in limbo beyond then.

Sturtze declined to comment. Torre described Sturtze’s reaction to the developments this way: “He’s not OK.”


Torre had said for several days that the team would activate reliever Cory Wade on Wednesday. The Dodgers initially told Sturtze they would designate him for assignment to clear a roster spot for Wade. After a few minutes, they changed their minds.

“It’s something that didn’t just change in five minutes,” Torre said. “We were wrestling with it.”

Wade said he was “definitely” ready to pitch. Torre indicated the Dodgers wanted to see how much they used their bullpen Wednesday and to consider whether to option Ramon Troncoso so they could keep him and Sturtze available for September.

But, when the Dodgers promoted Sturtze into their bullpen two weeks ago, Torre said, “He knew it was on a temporary basis.”

DeWitt back

With Torre concerned enough to meet with second baseman Jeff Kent and third baseman Casey Blake to discuss whether either player was fatigued, the Dodgers recalled Blake DeWitt and designated Pablo Ozuna for assignment.

“It gives us a little bit of a safety net” at both positions, Torre said.

DeWitt, who jumped from double-A into the Dodgers’ opening-day lineup at third base, played second base exclusively in recent weeks at triple-A Las Vegas. He hit .306 in 27 games there, including 11 hits in his last 19 at-bats.

No Fuentes?

The Dodgers’ chance to add Colorado closer Brian Fuentes all but evaporated when the Rockies put him on the bereavement list, thus canceling his waiver eligibility.

The Rockies can reinstate Fuentes no sooner than Friday. If they put him on waivers again that day -- and they are not required to do so -- no team could be awarded a claim and negotiate a trade by Sunday.

Any player acquired after Sunday is not eligible for postseason play.

Real heroes

Torre and three players -- outfielder Andre Ethier, catcher Danny Ardoin and pitcher Jason Johnson -- joined Dodgers coaches and broadcasters in visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Wednesday.

Ethier says he visits whenever the Dodgers play in Washington.

“It’s nice to show them our appreciation,” he said. “You realize the commitment these guys made. It’s a big one.

“They’re not just doing it with their time. They’re doing it with their lives.”

Fall guys

Shortstop Ivan DeJesus, who represented the Dodgers in the Futures Game, heads a list of seven minor leaguers assigned to the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League. DeJesus will be joined by five teammates from double-A Jacksonville -- catcher Lucas May, outfielder Andrew Lambo and pitchers Scott Elbert, Brent Leach and Travis Schlichting -- and Las Vegas pitcher Justin Orenduff.