Lose Wright, Add Pitcher in Rule 5 Draft

As expected the Dodgers lost lefthander Wesley Wright in baseball's annual Rule 5 draft Thursday while dipping into the mix in a minor way themselves to pick up another lefthander.

Wright, who was the last man left off the parent roster, was taken by the Houston Astros as the eighth player selected in the annual grab-bag. Later, the Dodgers, raided the Astros system for a lefthander themselves, going for Victor Garate in the Triple A phase

. In the Triple A phase, the Astros went for another Dodger pitcher, soft-tossing righthander Joey Norrito, who posted an 8-5, 4.13 record with Jacksonville.

LA also lost catcher Juan Apodaca to the Reds in the Triple A portion. It neither selected anybody nor lost a player in the Double A phase.

Wright, used as a set-up man for the most part, isn't much larger than a Munchkin but throws an 88-91 fast ball and a nasty curve. He had success at Jacksonville where he was 6-2, 2.49 but had his problems at Las Vegas with a 1-2, 9.18 mark. When he didn't pitch particularly well in the Arizona Fall League, it was decided to risk his being drafted.

Players chosen in the major league portion must be kept on the roster for a year or have to be offered back to the original club.

That's not the case in the minor league phase. Garate is a 23-year-old 6-1, 160 native of Venezuela. Used exclusively in relief he began 2007 with Lexington in the Low-A South Atlantic League where he was 3-1 with a 6.43 ERA and one save. Dropped back to Short Season Tri-City in the NYP League, he also was 3-1 but had a 3.31 ERA and two saves.

He throws hard, striking out 86 batters in 74.2 innings (10.37 per nine innings).

Apodaca has been regarded as a dependable catcher with a questionable bat. He played most of the year at Great Lakes where he hit .259 with eight home runs, mostly backing up Carlos Santana there.

Ironically both Garate and Apodaca are playing for the same team in winter ball, Caracas.
Victor Garate     6-1   160   Bl   Tl
 B- Sept. 25, 1984  Res- Aragua, Venezuela
year	 team		w-l   era    gm  sv    in     h   bb   so
2005	Greenville	4-1   5.57   19   0   32.1   21   26   53	
2006	Tri-City	4-0   0.92   21   0   39.1   14   21   59
2007	Lexington	3-1   6.43   26   1   42.0   47   35   41
2007	Tri-City	3-1   3.31   17   2   32.2   31    7   45
			6-2   5.06   43   3   74.2   78   42   86

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