Veras, Nick Alvarez Among Latest Cuts

   VERO BEACH, Fla- Righthander Dario Veras, who had been trying to move out of baseball's wilderness by making it back to the Dodger system this spring, will be wandering again as he is one of the latest group released by minor league teams.

  Veras, who had moved from the infield to the pitching mound so successfully that he became a mainstay of the San Diego bullpen in 1996 only to be plagued by elbow problems, has been out of organized ball since the 2001 season. However, the Dodgers liked his performance in the Dominican Winter league enough to sign him as a free agent in December and bring him to camp as a non-roster invitee.

   He had recently been reassigned to LasVegas but at age 34 didn't impress enough to appear able to help that team so has been cut loose.

    Also released were first baseman/outfielder Nick Alvarez, righthander Gabe Alvarez and catcher Carlos Medero. There will no doubt be more before the minor leaguers break camp Monday.

     Nick Alvarez has been in the Dodger system since 2000 and was a Florida State League All-Star in 2001 when he hit 21 homers to tie for the league lead. Last year he played for both Las Vegas where he hit .293 and Jacksonville where he hit .193. There's a possibility that he can hook up with a Japanese team.

    Medero was an eighth-round draft choice in 2004 but never really made an impression as either a receiver or hitter during his stay in the organization. Last year he hit only .197 for Ogden. Gabe Alvarez (no relation to Nick) pitched in Mexico for the past two seasons.

  In addition to those cuts, lefthander Jorge Castillo and righthander Mauricio Tequida  who both pitched in Mexico last year, have been sent there again but on loan as their rights continue to be held by the Dodgers.