Kozlowski an Important Part of Suns

The Dodgers have been beefing up the Jacksonville pitching staff lately. That's customary when a team is headed for the playoffs so they brought both Jon Meloan and Wesley Wright up from Vero Beach and now have returning ace closer Mark Alexander, who had gone up to Las Vegas.

Pitching is often paramount in short series so a strong staff is vital if you want to excell in the postseason. The Suns would appear to have that - and it's one that Ben Kozlowski has become an increasingly important part of.

Ben, a lefthander, came to the Dodgers from the Reds as that uibiquitous player to be named later; in this case as payment for Cody Ross. The Reds have since sent Cody on to the Marlins (for whom he personally destroyed the Dodgers one day). Kozlowski has brought veteran know-how to the Suns' staff.

He has major league experience - well, a couple of games, anyway for the Rangers back in 2002. At that time Texas considered him one of their brighter prospects but he fell by the wayside and was waived to the Reds at the end of the 2004 season.

He's got some good pitches, though, and he's fought his way back. He throws a fast ball in the low 90's and a very effective curve at times. He's a big guy- 6-6, 230- and has done well both as a starter and in relief for Jacksonville.

Kozlowski's tough on lefties; they're currently batting only .170 against him so that might be the role that he'll assume- coming in and getting the big out when needed. He has a 2.48 ERA right now so he's been more than able for John Shoemaker's club

Lefthanders with strong credentials are nice to have around so the Dodgers are pleased to have him. He's 26 and at the point where he feels more than ready to challenge for some big league time again. In the meantime, though, there are those playoffs looming and the Dodgers hope he can play a major role in a repeat Southern League title for the Suns.

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