Sergio Garcia Playing Winter Ball

When the various leagues swing into action next spring, Sergio Garcia won't be with one of the teams. That's because he still will be serving out the 60-day suspension handed to him this year for using a banned substance. However, the suspension time doesn't count over the winter so Garcia can and is currently playing ball.

The infielder, who was with Las Vegas at the time of his suspension, is allowed to play winter ball since such leagues aren't a regular part of organized ball. Thus he's in action as one of a handful of American-born Dodger players currently with teams in the various winter leagues.

All three such leagues have begun play- the Mexican Pacific and those in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The Puerto Rican League isn't operatiiong this year because of financial problems. Garcia is participating in the Mexican Pacific League, playing for Mazatlan.

The other Dodgers in that league are all among those who signed with L.A. as minor league free agents and may well be leaving by such a route again, for that matter. First baseman John Lindsey and third baseman Marshall McDougall are with Hermosillo while pitchers Matt Riley and Spike Lundberg are with Guasave.

The Dodgers are obviously continuing the pratice begun a few years ago of concentrating their prospects in the Instructional, Arizona or Hawaii Leagues for only two American-born players are listed with Venezuelan teams and none in the Dominican League. Pitchers Joey Norrito and Eric Cyr are with Caracas in Venezuela.

Dominican rosters are not quite complete, it should be noted. Last year, both James Loney and Matt Kemp played there but doesn't appear likely this time. As usual, players who are natives of the various countries comprise the bulk of ther Dodgers participating.

Those Dodgers partricipating to date:

Guasave- Pitchers Lundberg and Riley.
Hermosillo- Pitchers Mauricio Tequida. First baseman Lindsey. Infiedler McDougall.
Culiacan- Pitchers Francisco Felix and Thomas Melgarejo.
Mazatlan- Infielder Garcia.
Obregon- Pitcher Jesus Rodriguez

Zulia-Pitcher Jonathan Figueroa
Oriente- Pitcher Alberto Bastardo.
Caracas- Pitchers Norrito and Cyr. First baseman Eduardo Perez. Catcher Juan Apodaca.
Magallanes- Pitchers Miguel Pinango and Alvis Ojeda.
Aragua- Infielder Luis Maza.

Estrellas- Pitchers Arismendy Castillo, Jumbo Diaz and Yulkin German. Outfielder Wilkin Ruan.
Escodido- Pitcher Marlon Arias. Catcher Carlos Santana.
Azucareros - Pitcher Ramon Troncoso.

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