Oscar Robles Waits and Wonders

Ned Colletti and Grady Little are holding a series of meetings this week concerning the names of those that will be called up from the minors on Sept. 1 when the rosters expand. Ned's made it clear that this is no time to take a look at some to see what the future may hold.

Only those who can be of immediate assistance need apply. Meanwhile, down at Las Vegas, Oscar Robles wonders if his name will be called.

Robles has to feel that he has what it takes to help out in the big leagues. He certainly did that last year for he can play anywhere on the left side of the infield with dexterity and is not at all bad at the plate, either. Hey, he got into 110 games for the Dodgers last season and hit .272. And he's been summoned twice already this year.

But then was then and now the situation has been altered. Infielders for the Dodgers are like houses on the market these days- the supply overwhelms the demand. Why Little even has to come up with creative ways to get a player as talented as Julio Lugo into the lineup. And, anyway, they've obviously long since decided that anything Robles can do, Ramon Martinez can do better.

Why, even at Vegas, the infield is crowded so much so that Oscar can't be sure his name will be in the lineup. Francisco Valdez is out there at short every day and Andy LaRoche will play third as long as he's healthy. That leaves second but Eric Riggs is having a pretty darn good year so that means that he and Oscar share time there.

Being the forgotten man is something Robles knows a great deal about. Although he was born in Mexico, it was just across the border in Tijuana and he actually went to high school in San Diego so was eligible for the draft. Houston took him in the third round back in 1994, kept him around for awhile then loaned him to Mexican teams. They eventually forgot him all together.

He was playing down in Mexico when he was rediscovered by Mike Brito. Shouldn't have been too hard to do since he hit .382. He was brought to camp for a two weeks trial, then played so well that the Dodgers eventually purchased his contract.

He's not doing badly again, either for he's hitting around .290 for the 51's.He knows he can come up, play some steady defense, even get a hit or two. But there's so many applicants and only so much bench space. So, right now Robles lives in limbo.

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