Dunlap Makes It Back to Vero

As the loudspeaker blared the music "Welcome Back", Cory Dunlap strode to the plate at Vero Beach Saturday. For after a lengthy exile in the extended spring camp, he was, indeed, back in games that count. He promptly flipped a single into right.

Dunlap had been banished to the extended camp for failing to keep his weight down over the winter. Now, looking more compact if not exactly svelte, he returned to the team for which he played first base in 2005 when he hit .291-7-77. That single was his only hit of the evening although he added a sacrifice fly later. He was used as a designated hitter with Cole Bruce playing first.

Dunlap's return to Vero was part of the first large shuffling of players in the Dodger system. Justin Mooneyham, who had been the surprise winner of the first base job at Vero was hitting .279 but with no home runs and only five runs batted in was sent down to Columbus which also exchanged infielders with the extended group.

Sent back were Juan Rivera (.169-1-6), Jesus Soto (.213-1-5 ) and Eduardo Perez (.242-2-13) while the Catfish received Brandon Carter and Shane Justis in addition to Mooneyham. Carter is returning to the team foe which he hit .221 last year. Justis played at Ogden where he hit .273-2-15.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville, which found itself so short of pitchers it was forced to use catcher A. J. Ellis in a relief role Friday, was to receive righthander Steve Johnson from the extended camp.

Although Johnson is regarded as a pitcher of promise, his limited experience consisting of just six games in the Gulf Coast League last summer, means he'll be a temporary fill-in.

Another change sees Eric Langill activated to back up Edwin Bellorin as the Las Vegas catcher now that Russell Martin has gone up to the Dodgers. Langill hit .286-0-5 in limited playing time at Jacksonville last year.