Hu Traded to Mets for Minor League Lefty

The Dodgers sent infielder Chin-lung Hu to the New York Mets in exchange for 25-year-old minor league left-hander Michael Antonini. And four former Brooklyn players have died recently, reducing the number who performed in Ebbets Field to 50.

Antonini has primarily been a starting pitcher in the minors and was exclusively so in 2010, posting a 4.32 ERA with 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 23 Double-A starts and a 5.11 ERA with 6.1 strikeouts per nine innings in six Triple-A starts.

He was originally drafted by Philadelphia in the 41st round in 2006 and then signed with the Mets after they made him their 18th round selection in 2007. He has been in the New York organization since.

His best season cama in 2008 when he recorded a 9-7 won-lost record and a 2.77 earned run average while playing with three different clubs. He went 7-6, 5.74 in 2009 and he split the season between Double-A and Triple-A, with a composite 8-12 record and 4.49 ERA in 2010.

Hu, who will be 27 in February, spent eight years in the Dodgers organization. Considered a defensive standout, Hu was unable to top his minor league campaign in 2007 when he had an on-base percentage of .364 and slugging percentage of .507 in Double-A and Triple-A combined.

Hu, 26, spent most of the 2010 season at Triple-A Albuquerque, where he hit .317, but in another brief trial with the Dodgers, he hit only .130 and over his major league career he has a .241 OBP and .283 slugging over 191 plate appearances. At that, Hu has the most times at-bat of any Taiwan-born player in major league history.

One-time Dodgers minor league coordinator, the new Mets manager Terry Collins, is very familiar with Hu's abilities.

Hu is out of options, and the trade indicates that Dodgers management felt that he wouldn't make the club out of Spring Training. It also means the club believes Ivan DeJesus Jr. has improved with play in the Arizona Fall League and Puerto Rico winter ball after being passed over for a September callup this year.

The Dodgers have utility man Jamey Carroll to backup shortstop Rafael Furcal and second baseman Juan Uribe, with DeJesus replacing Hu on the depth chart. The club earlier signed journeyman Juan Castro to a Minor League contract.

Brooklyn Numbers Dwindle
The roster of living Brooklyn Dodgers players slipped to 50 after the deaths of outfielder Gene Hermanski and pitchers Billy Loes, Ken Lehman and the colorfully-named Calvin Coolidge, Julius Caesar, Tuskahoma McLish. Ed Palmquist, who pitched in Los Angeles in 1960 and 1961 also passed away.

Gene Hermanski
Hermanski made his debut with the Dodgers in 1943, appeared in 18 games and then returned from the military in 1946 and was a productive player form the next four years before being traded to the Cubs in an eight-player deal that brought Andy Pafko to Brooklyn. He hit .290 with 15 steals and a team-leading 15 home runs in 1948. He played in the 1947 and 1949 World Series with the Dodgers.

Loes pitched in the majors for 11 seasons, parts of seven with the Dodgers. He broke in when he was 20 years old and with only one year of minor league experience in 1950, then left for the military. He was a mainstay in the Dodgers rotation when he returned, winning 10 games or more for four straight seasons. His best year came in 1952 when he was 13-8, 2.69. When asked if he might be a 20-game winner on year, he replied: "No. If I did that they would expect it each season." He helped the Dodgers to pennants in 1952, 1953 and a World Title in 1955.

Lefty Lehman played four seasons in the Dodgers system before enlisting in the Korean War in 1950. He made his major league debut in 1952 and later pitched two scoreless innings in Game 2 of the World Series against the New York Yankees. After three successful seasons with Montreal of the International League, Lehman returned to the Dodgers for the entire 1956 season. He was sold to the Baltimore Orioles during the middle of the 1957 season and pitched with them through 1958. He returned to the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Danny McDevitt
McDevitt, who pitched and won the final game played in Ebbets Field, signed with the Yankees in 1951. Released after permitting 76 walks in 43 low-minors innings, he was quickly signed by Brooklyn system and at age 19 struck out 246 in the Cotton States League but walked a league-high 179. Following two years in military service, he earned promotion to the Dodgers rotation in mid-June 1957. He finished that season 7-4, with an impressive 3.25 ERA, five complete games, two shutouts -- more wins than better-known Brooklyn names such as Johnny Podres, Clem Labine, Roger Craig and Sal Maglie, and as many as Carl Erskine. He also completed six games in 1959, when he didn't mind pointing out he again won more games and achieved a lower ERA than younger teammate Sandy Koufax.

McLish made his debut at age 18 in 1944, went into the service, and pitched in Brooklyn briefly in 1946 on his way to a 15-year major league career.

Palmquist signed in 1951 while the Dodgers were in Brooklyn but didn't reach the majors until they had moved to Los Angeles. He had a 2.09 earned run average over 125 innings for AAA St. Paul and made his major league debut in 1960, working in 22 games with a 0-1, 2.54 record. He made five appearances in 1961 before being traded to Minnesota .

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