Five Invited To Spring Camp

They might not be quite ready for prime time yet Grady Little may well be getting a look at a good part of the Dodger future in five minor leaguers who have been selected to train with the big club as non-roster invitees this spring.

Those who received the inviations to join the group in the big league clubhouse are pitchers Scott Elbert and Jonathan Meloan, catcher A. J. Ellis and infielders Chin -lung Hu and Tony Abreu.

Elbert is considered by most as one the top if not the best lefthander in the minors. Last season he started at Vero Beach , posted a 5-5, 2.37 record, then went up to Jacksonvile where he was 6-4, 2.61. Hitters combined for only a .190 batting average against him. He's believed to need only a bit of control sharpening before he can join the cast in Los Angeles.

No other player moved more quickly through the system last year than righthander Meloan. He began the year working out muscular problems in the extended spring camp. He finally got into action with Columbus where he posted a 1-1, 1.64 mark. He next moved up to Vero Beach for a 1-0,2.50 record and finished the season at Jacksonville, going 1-0, 1.69.

A starter before, he was used out of the bullpen in 2006 and the plan is to keep him there He, too, might be in the big leagues before the year is over.

Hitherto a backup catcher, Ellis got into 81 games for Jacksonvile, hitting .250 although he didn't have a single home run. However, in the Arizona Fall League, his bat came to life as he hit .346 with two homers. He's a solid man with the glove.

Hu at shortstop and Abreu at second have been together for three seasons now and have formed an adroit double play combination. Hu slumped at the plate last year, hitting only .254 at Jacksonville with five home runs. Abreu had a solid .287-6 year and has been hitting the ball extremely well in the Dominican this winter with a .365 average

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