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Dodgers

Dodgers trade former wunderkind John Ely to Astros

Dodgers trade former wunderkind John Ely to Astros
John Ely pitching for the Dodgers in 2010.
(Gus Ruelas / Associated Press)

He’ll always have Elymania.

There just won’t be any reprieves for John Ely, at least not as a Dodger.

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On Wednesday the Dodgers traded Ely to the Houston Astros for minor-league pitcher Rob Rasmussen.

Ely fairly exploded upon the scene in 2010. The Dodgers were practically holding tryouts for a fifth starter before he was called up from triple-A Albuquerque and unexpectedly — if briefly — seized his opportunity.

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After his first seven starts, he was 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA. It seemed somewhat mystifying, since the light-throwing right-hander hardly had overpowering stuff. He did have strong control, however, and made the most of it.

Alas, neither his control nor his future with the Dodgers was to last. He finished the season 4-10 with a 5.49 ERA and went back to Albuquerque, where he fared no better (5-4, 6.22)), and was pretty much never seen again. He made one start in 2011 and a pair of relief appearances last season. But he still looked like Matthew McConaughey’s twin, so there are worse things in life.

Now Ely, 26, will give it a go with the roster-thin Astros. With eight major-league starters, there was no place left for him with the rebuilt Dodgers.

Rasmussen, 23, was almost a Dodger once previously. He was drafted in the 27th round out of Pasadena’s Poly High School in 2007, but instead went to UCLA.

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The Marlins then drafted him in the second round in 2010 and he was one of two minor leaguers traded to the Astros last July for the almost Dodger, Carlos Lee.

Rasmussen, 23, is a 5-foot-9 left-hander who was 8-11 with 4.25 ERA in two minor-league stops last season as a starter, though his future could be in the bullpen. In three minor league seasons he is 20-21 with a 3.88 ERA.

The trading of Ely leaves the Dodgers with 39 players on their 40-man roster.

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