Brad Penny's shoulder, which caused him to miss a start, seems sound but until he uses it in a game, the club won't know for sure.
Hong-Chih Kuo, down with inflammation in his pitching shoulder, has been shut down until the problem is gone, effectively cutting him out of the fifth starter race.
Rafael Furcal's twisted ankle seems to be responding but the club is being cautious with the valuable infielder and will wait until he is 100% before putting him back on the field.
Jason Repko's torn hamstring may need surgery but until his MRI is examined, they will not know for certain.
"All these things (and more) will influence our thinking as we set up the 25-man roster," Little said. "Obviously we must do some adjusting,
"We need to think about who we select and how their development will be effected if they don't start. We have some fine players who will have many long careers with the Los Angeles Dodgers and we don't want to slow down their progress."
He said he didn't "see the decisions happening before the final weekend. We'll take a lot of players back to Los Angeles for the Freeway Series but we have to remember we have a split squad game March 29 in Vero the same time we open the series against the Angels.
"Some will have to stay here to play in that game. And the decisions we make will not be etched in stone. We'll move a lot of players around before this is all over."
Rally Stops Cleveland-- Larry Bigbie singled in the tying run and the winning run scored when the Baltimore centerfielder fumbled the ball. The two runs erased a 3-2 Indian lead and gave the Dodgers their 16th win of the spring.
Jason Schmidt drew his sixth start and struggled with his command but battled through six innings, allowing six hits -- four of them doubles -- but allowed only first-inning run.
Solid defense helped Schmidt. After a leadoff double in the fifths, Ramon Martinez nailed the runner attempting to advance on a ground ball with Wilson Betemit making the tag. Andy LaRoche threw out the tying run at the plate in the sixth and in the top of the ninth, Loney ran down a double, fired to Valdez and he nailed the runner attempting to stretch the hit into a triple.
"His last two innings were better," Little said. "He's not where he wants to be but he's getting closer. Bigger guys take a little longer sometimes."
Nomar Garciaparra doubled home a pair of runs in the fifth, scoring Loney and Juan Pierre who had singled, to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead but Cleveland tagged Rudy Seanez for two in the eighth on a double and a homer. They were the first runs Seanez has allowed this spring.
Trailing 3-2 into the last of the ninth, Russell Martin grounded a pinch-single into center field to lead off the inning. Matt Kemp slugged a Ruthian blast that went 400 feet high and 380 feet long but was caught against the fence in left-center.
Matt Kemp slugged a Ruthian blast that went 400 feet high and 380 feet long but was caught against the fence in left center.
Russell Martin opened the ninth with a pinch single and James Loney singled to center. Bigbie then shot a single to center that scored Loney and when outfielder Casey Blake picked up the ball, then dropped it, Loney scored the winning run with a long slide at the plate.
Loney had singled in the fifth and scored the first Dodger run, then he doubled with none out in the seventh but was left on base. His three hits moved his team-leading average to .444.
When asked what his chances of gaining a spot on the roster, he said "All I can do is keep playing and home that what I'm doing is enough."
Loney played the complete game in right field and, although he might be a gold glove first baseman, as an outfielder he is still a work in progress. However, the wind was blowing hard (again) and balls hit in the air were tough to handle.
Writers asked Little after the game that if Loney was sent to AAA, would he have a tough time motivating himself.
Little remarked that he haas shown improvement and that, "I don't doubt he'll drive in more runs than he lets in," then changing tack, said "But you've guys have him in AAA and we haven't even set the roster yet."
"The guy knows what kind of a future he has with the Dodgers," Little added.
A decision to make Brett Tomko the fifth starter had been made and that Mark Hendrickson will start out of the bullpen.
Hendrickson's schedule has been changed to get him more work in relief over the final week of the spring season.
The Dodgers, now 16-11 will play the NY Mets in a night game at St. Lucie tonight (Monday) with Brad Penny penciled in for the start.
Score by innings Cleveland 100 000 020-3 Dodgers 000 002 002-4 Dodgers ab r h bi ave Juan Pierre cf 3 1 1 0 .370 Larry Bigbie cf 1 0 1 1 .000 Ramon Martinez 4 0 0 0 .222 Rudy Seanez p 0 0 0 0 .000 Elmer Dessens p 0 0 0 0 .000 N. Garciaparra 1b 3 0 2 1 .293 Jon Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Andy LaRoche 3b 1 0 0 0 .188 Jeff Kent 2b 4 0 0 0 .258 Wilson Valdez 2b 0 0 0 0 .373 Luis Gonzalez lf 3 0 0 0 .290 Joe Beimel p 0 0 0 0 .000 Tony Abreu ss 1 0 0 0 .368 Wilson Betemit 3b 2 0 1 0 .239 Sandy Martinez c 0 0 0 0 .056 Russell Martin ph 1 1 1 0 .286 Mike Lieberthal c 2 0 0 0 .238 Matt Kemp ph-lf 1 0 0 0 .220 James Loney rf 4 2 3 0 .444 Jason Schmidt p 1 0 0 0 .000 M. Anderson ph 1 0 0 0 .000 Olmedo Sanez 2 0 0 0 .303 Totals 34 4 9 3 Cleveland 36 3 11 3 Error- Abreu (2). 2b hits- Garciaparra (2), Loney (5). SB- Kemp (4), Pierre (4). LOB- Dodgers 7, Indians 9. DP- Garciaparra; Martinez, Kent and Saenz. Dodgers in h r-er bb so era Schmidt 5.0 6 1-1 3 5 5.06 Broxton 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 9.53 Beimel 1.0 1 0-0 0 1 3.24 Seanez 1.0 2 2-2 0 2 1.93 Dessens 1.0 1 0-0 0 1 3.75 T- 2:45. Att- 5,995,Repko's Injury 'Don't Look Good'-- Manager Grady Little said Saturday that the magnetic resonance imaging scan on Repko "didn't look good" and that "it's gonna be a long time" before he plays again. Repko injured his left hamstring in Thursday's game when he collided with shortstop Rafael Furcal while going for a fly ball. He will probably need surgery to repair the hamstring and it would likely sideline him through the All-Star break.
"What they're going to do is let some other people look at (the MRI results) before any decision is made. But that has been my experience (that surgery was needed) whenever you get a second opinion. He is going to miss a lot of time. I'm not sure if it was a tear or a breakaway." The injury may open a spot on the roster for left-handed hitting Larry Bigbie or right-handed hitting Matt Kemp.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News, reports that former veteran reliever Paul Shuey, who missed all of 2004 with the Dodgers because of a hip injury, then retired after the injury required what he thought was career-ending surgery, but now he may un-retire. He had a hip replacement and he feels so good he is in the Orioles' camp and believes he can still pitch in the major leagues. …The players met with union representative Donald Fehr before the game. …Rudy Seanez has pitched 8.1 innings while giving up two hits and no runs a run this spring has eight strikeouts and one walk. He could bump Elmer Dessens out of the bullpen, but Seanez is a non-roster invitee and Dessens is guaranteed $1.7 million. Another reliever who has made a strong impression is Chin-hui Tsao, whose fastball has reached 95 mph in the last two weeks after after topping out at 89 mph before the games began. …Andre Ethier went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk during the Dodgers' 4-2 win against the Baltimore Orioles and has nine strikeouts during his hitless streak of 21 at-bats hat dropped his average to .279. …The Matt Kemp+ for Marlin's ace Dontrell Willis has surfaced again. …The Reds sent outfielder Bubba Crosby to the minors.
Quote of the Day-- "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."-- Rogers Hornsby.