More Of The Same In Arizona- Pitchers Rule

As it is in Hawaii, it is so also in the Arizona Fall League- as far as the Dodgers are concerned, the pitchers are ahead of the hitters.

They're heading for home in a few days in Arizona and the four pitchers the Dodgers stashed this year with the Mesa Solar Sox have all done well. The three hitters they have there- well, only one can be happy with the way he's performed.

Having pitching coach Kenny Howell on hand on a daily basis has certainly helped the pitchers. Of the foursome, no one has advanced his cause more than righthander Jon Meloan. Especially when you consider that he was something of an afterthought, thrust into the league only when Scott Elbert complained of arm tightness and was scratched from competition.

Meloan is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA. He's been throwing the ball so well that they made him a closer the other day so he racked up a save. He also was named to the Future Stars game. Casey Hoorelbeke is doing just as well. In his second stint in the league, he's 1-0, 1.69.

While Brian Akin is only 1-3, he hasn't pitched badly as a 3.00 ERA attests. Danny Muegge is 0-1 but with a 3.32 ERA and has racked up more innings (19) than any other members of the Solar Sox staff. (it should be pointed out that they're very cautious about overworking anybody in this league).

As for the hitters, catcher A. J. Ellis has stood out with a .349 average although he's only a part-timer. It's been another matter entirely, though, for outfielder Anthony Raglani and shortstop Chin-lung Hu.

Raglani had one very good game in which he sent two out of the park. That's been pretty much it for him, however. Those two homers were the only ones he's managed and his average has drooped to .205. Hu continues to feel tired and has wilted under the Arizona sun to a .193 mark with one a single home run.

Of the quintet of Dodgers, Ellis and Muegge are eligible for the Rule 5 draft. The new draft rules certified in the recent agreement between players and management give Hoorelbeke, Hu and Akin another year while Meloan has two more before he has to be protected. But the way he's been throwing he might make it up well before that.