Thompson Out Once Again

For the third time in his star-crossed career, lefthander Derek Thompson will undergo major surgery which will end a season in which he had reached the Dodgers and was bidding to do so again.

Thompson, who had pitched well for Los Angeles after being called up and was doing the same for Las Vegas (1-2, 3.43, 17 strikeouts in 21 innings) despite pitching in pain for much of the season, will undergo Tommy John surgery, the second time his left elbow will have been surgically repaired. He also had knee surgery in 2001when he was in the Cleveland organization.

His departure caused some movement among pitchers with righthander Eric Hull going up from Jacksonville to take his place in the 51's rotation. Another righthander, Beltran Perez, who had been pitching middle relief at Vero Beach was promoted to Jacksonville.

Meanwhile, three other pitchers fresh from rehabilitation made significant moves. Lefthander Greg Miller and righthander Jose "Jumbo" Diaz joined Vero Beach after pitching impressively with the Gulf Coast Dodgers. Miller's first start was cut short by a rain delay after he threw 1.2 innings in which he allowed one hit and no runs although he walked four. Diaz pitched one inning Friday, striking out the side with his fast ball reaching 99 mph.

Righthander Dimas Reina was pushed up to Columbus for whom he threw two scoreless innings in relief. That prompted his receiving a starting assignment.

Meanwhile, righthander Joey Norrito became the latest rehab to join the Gulf Coast team. Norrito threw four scoreless innings with that team last year after signing, then had elbow surgery. At the same time, two well-regarded draftees, Chris Hobdy (seventh round) and Steve Johnson (13th), both righthanders have been backed off for awhile with the GCL Dodgers because of arm strain, probably the result of excessive work while in high school.

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