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Trayvon Robinson says he was ‘really hurt’ by Dodgers’ trade decision

Reporting from Peoria, Ariz. — Trayvon Robinson was riding the team bus in New Orleans last July when his cellphone rang. The caller was DeJon Watson, the Dodgers’ assistant general manager.

“I’ve got good news and bad news,” Watson said. “You’ve been traded to the Boston Red Sox.”

“What’s the good news?” Robinson replied.

The Red Sox seldom rebuild. For a prospect, Robinson believed, Boston would be awkward.

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As he stewed, he checked Twitter. He kept reading he had been traded to the Seattle Mariners.

The outfielder became annoyed and confused all at once, until Watson called back “six or seven minutes later” to explain the Red Sox had sent him to Seattle, completing the three-way trade in which the Dodgers got catching prospect Tim Federowicz.

Neither Robinson nor Federowicz is expected to start this season in the major leagues. Robinson, speaking before the Dodgers and Mariners played to a 5-5 tie Saturday, said he is happy with Seattle, where rebuilding provides opportunity.

Still, the initial news of the trade “really hurt me,” he said. The Crenshaw High alum was hitting .293 with 26 home runs for the Dodgers’ triple-A team, one step from taking the field for his hometown team.

“Everything they told me to do, I did it,” he said. “I didn’t disrespect the uniform.

“I always tried to wear the Dodger jersey the way Jackie Robinson did, with a lot of pride and courage.”

Santeria interlude

Nothing comes easy for reliever Ronald Belisario. He had yet to deliver a pitch Saturday when the umpires directed him to remove a bright yellow bracelet on his left wrist, out of concern the jewelry might distract a batter.

Belisario opted to cover the bracelet with a protective sleeve on his left arm. That forced him to wear a sleeve on his right arm as well, to mitigate the potential distraction of a pitcher with one bare arm and one covered arm.

“Next time I’ll be prepared,” Belisario said.

He said he declined to remove the bracelet because it is a symbol of his Santeria religion — an ilde, associated with long life, according to the book “Santeria: the religion, faith, rites, magic.”

Belisario said the incident played no role in his poor performance. He worked one inning, giving up four runs, three hits and a walk.

He did not pitch last season because he was barred from entering the United States after testing positive for cocaine. Major League Baseball subsequently suspended him for 25 games, a punishment he has yet to serve.

In 2010, he sat out more than a month while undergoing treatment for substance abuse.

Back concern

Outfielder Andre Ethier was scratched Saturday after he reported what the Dodgers called “mild mid-back stiffness” during batting practice.

Ethier has had no issues this spring with his surgically repaired right knee, but this is the second time his back has flared up. He already was scheduled for a day off Sunday. The Dodgers don’t anticipate a long-term issue, but they will watch warily.

“The fact it’s happened twice makes you think,” Manager Don Mattingly said.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

twitter.com/BillShaikin


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