Apodaca Promoted To Jacksonville

During his four years in the Dodger organization Juan Apodaca earned the reputation as a dependable defensive catcher who wasn't all that much of an offensive threat. This spring he's been trying to change that viewpoint.

A 20-year-old native of Caracas, Ven., Apodaca started last season with Columbus where he hit .244, then moved up to Vero Beach where he hit .257. And .257 is also his lifetime average. Not all that bad but not all that good, either.

This year he found himself dropped behind two players converted to catching- Lucas May, who won the job at Inland Empire, and Carlos Santana, who was assigned to Great Lakes. That left Apodaca in the extended spring camp whereupon he began playing his way out.

Particularly, he hit as never before. Although any records compiled in the games played against other organization's extended camp teams- the Dodgers face the Mets, Marlins, Nationals and Cardinals on a regular basis- are all unofficial, Apodaca made the most of his at-bats by hitting close to .600 in those games.

Now, he's been rewarded by a promotion all the way to Jacksonville. It might be only temporary but he's up where it counts.

That's only one of the latest player moves made. Another saw righthander Miguel Pinango promoted from Inland Empire to Las Vegas. Pinango, who was signed as a free agent over the winter, was only 1-3, 4.61 for the 66ers but did win 10 games in AA for the Mets last season.

Righthander Kyle Wilson was activated from the disabled list to replace him at Inland Empire. Wilson has been strictly a reliever so far, saving nine games for Vero Beach last season. The 66ers also added infielder Michael Rivera, who was with Great Lakes where he hit .211.

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