Stinnett Dropped: Octavio Martinez Promoted

Kelly Stinnett ws a last-minute addtion to the Dodger spring training scene as a non-roster invitee. He vowed to make the big club but that wasn't to be. Now, he's out altogether. It's understandable that Stinnett felt he could play for the Dodgers in L.A. After all, he has all or parts of 13 big league seasons on his resume.

But the only chance he had of sticking would have been if either Russell Martin or Mike Lieberthal got hurt. When that didn't happen, he took an assignment at Las Vegas with the notion that he could impress somebody enough to want him in the big leagues.

But Stinnett was only hitting .196 with three home runs for thr 51's and yielded much of the catching time to Ken Huckaby. Now, he's been dropped.

His replacement is Octavio Martinez, not to be confused with Sandy Martinez, another veteran receiver who was a non-roster hopeful but who was cut at the end of spring training. Ocatavio, rather, is a player who at one time was considered one of the brighter catching prospects around.

That was particularly so in the 2000 season when he was the Appalachian League Player of the Year, hitting .387 for the Orioles' Bluefield farm team.

However, after that he hurt his shoulder, had operations and subsequently spent the last several season more on the sidelines than in game action.

A native Californian, who played at Bakersfield Junior College, Martinez signed with the Dodgers as a minor league free agent. The 27-year-old opened the season in his familiar spot on the disabled list but finally got into action in May for Jacksonville where he was quite impressive in four games, hitting .364 with two home runs. That prompted his call-up to Vegas.

The 51's also received payment for the trade which sent Tomas Perez to the White Sox, getting righthander Dwayne Pollok from Charlotte in the International League where he was 1-1, .333 with one save.

A onetime Texas A & M pitcher, the 26-year-old Pollok has been used strictly in relief, spending the past two seasons with Birmingham in the Southern League.