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Notes: Jackson gets called up06/01/2004 10:21 PM ET
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Edwin Jackson will be promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday to start for the Dodgers against Milwaukee. If there are no setbacks from injuries to Hideo Nomo and Wilson Alvarez, Jackson is expected to be returned to Las Vegas for more seasoning, regardless of how he pitches.
Jackson made a spectacular Major League debut last year, beating Randy Johnson on his 20th birthday. Manager Jim Tracy said the fifth starter job was his to lose this Spring Training and he lost it with an ERA of 9.28. He is 5-2 with a 5.13 ERA at Las Vegas.
The closest comparison to Jackson in recent years is Ramon Martinez, who started 1988 dominating at Double-A and was promoted to the Major League club to make six starts and three relief appearances at the age of 20.
When the 1989 Spring Training opened, Martinez was penciled into the rotation as the fifth starter to cover for John Tudor, who was recovering from elbow surgery. But Martinez lacked consistency with his curveball in the opening weeks of Spring Training and the Dodgers quickly traded for veteran Mike Morgan, who emerged as the fifth starter to join Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Tim Belcher and Tim Leary.
Meanwhile, Martinez was sent back down for more seasoning, and he dominated. Nonetheless, he wasn't promoted until June -- only for a spot start when consecutive extra-inning games taxed the starting rotation. He threw a shutout in Atlanta and was rewarded with a demotion to Triple-A after the game. It took another five weeks for Martinez to be promoted, this time for good.
Jackson is at least as inexperienced now as Martinez was in 1989. Jackson, in fact, has only been pitching full-time since 2002, having been a utilityman in high school. The Dodgers must make a roster move, which likely will be to return Rodney Myers to Las Vegas.
Carrara returns: Giovanni Carrara, a bullpen workhorse for the Dodgers in 2001-2002, has re-signed with the organization to provide depth at Las Vegas, where the staff has been decimated by the trades of veterans Tanyon Sturtze and Rick White and the retirement of Doug Nickle.
Carrara most recently was pitching for the Chicago Cubs' Triple-A affiliate at Iowa, where he was 1-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 16 games. He had an option in his contract that allowed him to declare free agency if he was not in the big leagues with the Cubs by June 1.
He pitched in 23 games for the Seattle Mariners last year after being released at the end of Spring Training by the Dodgers.
Shuey overhaul: Reliever Paul Shuey, trying to return from a torn thumb tendon, said the injury and offseason hip surgery have led to an overhaul of his mechanics and repertoire. He has replaced his overhand curveball with a slider. He is also trying a change-up, and his windup is more upright than previously.
"I'm trying a (Darren) Dreifort slider, and it's not (sliding)," Shuey said. "I'm trying a Gags (Eric Gagne) change-up, and it's not (moving). Because of the hip, I don't crouch down. I'm in the garage. The good thing is, the car will start. I'm getting the fastball back, the splitter is fair. I'm very optimistic. It's like learning to pitch again."
Bradley, Alvarez improve: Center fielder Milton Bradley returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with an re-injured left ankle.
Alvarez, sidelined with a strained left hip, said he felt considerable improvement Tuesday for the first time and was able to play catch during batting practice. He said his treatment regimen includes deep muscle massage and acupuncture.
Vero Beach All-Stars: Vero Beach right-handed pitchers Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton, catcher Russell Martin and shortstop Joel Guzman were named to the Florida State League All-Star team. ... Las Vegas infielder Ricky Bell, who slugged five home runs in a four-day span, has been named as the Pacific Coast League's Batter of the Week for May 24-30. Bell made starts at first base, second base and third base during the week in which he hit .320 (8-for-25). ... Taiwanese left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo, who due to injuries has been limited to l5 games since signing with the Dodgers in June 1999, was activated from the disabled list yesterday and will resume his professional career with Class-A Columbus. Kuo missed the entire 2003 season while recovering from his second Tommy John surgery and has not pitched in a pro game since Aug. 29, 2002, with Vero Beach.
Shopping spree: Dodgers Eric Gagne, Milton Bradley, David Ross and Jose Lima participated in a three-minute shopping spree that raised $14,945 on behalf of National Hunger Awareness Day. The groceries and products were taken to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank warehouse. In addition, the Dodgers Dream Foundation matched the players' register total with a cash donation to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
Stolen bases pay: Dave Roberts will meet local high school players and coaches at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday to distribute baseball and softball equipment for the Dave Roberts' Swipes for Schools program. The program is designed to support local high school baseball and softball programs that lack resources to purchase quality equipment for competition. For every stolen base during the 2004 season, Roberts and the Dodgers Dream Foundation have teamed to donate $500 toward the purchase of baseball and softball equipment for each local high school selected as a part of the Swipes for Schools program. To date this season, which marks the second season for the program, Roberts has stolen 16 bases totaling $8,000 donated to the program. Roberts and the Dodgers Dream Foundation have donated more than $25,000 in equipment to local high school baseball and softball teams since the program began last season.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.