LaRoche Joins DeWitt in Las Vegas

When Andy LaRoche first heard that the Dodgers had acquired Casey Blake in a trade, he thought he had been sent to Cleveland. "I didn't want to go to Cleveland," he said. "It's too cold out there." He was told he wasn't traded to Cleveland but now he has been optioned to Las Vegas, where it is rarely cold.

The move allowed the Dodgers to reinstate infielder Mark Sweeney from the 15-day disabled list.

  Sweeney missed 18 games after being placed on the DL on July 4 with a strained right hamstring. The left-handed hitter appeared in four rehab games with Triple-A Las Vegas from July 10-13, going 4-for-16 (.250) with a walk and two runs scored.

  The 38-year-old is hitting .094 with three RBI in 60 games with the Dodgers, including a .120 mark (6-for-50) as a pinch hitter. Sweeney ranks second in baseball history with 169 pinch hits, behind only Lenny Harris, who has 212.

   LaRoche was batting .203 with two homers and six RBI in 27 games (15 starts). He had been recalled from Las Vegas on June 10.

   LaRoche started the entire three-game series in Colorado and again in the first game of the series against Washington but was benched when Casey Blake arrived from Cleveland. He was 3-for-12 with three walks (.400 on-base percentage) and two runs batted in in the four games.

DeWitt Demoted Earlier
DeWitt, 22, was sent down to Las Vegas to clear a roster spot for Blake. "It's understandable," DeWitt said. "You don't produce, it's not going to be in your favor."

  DeWitt was the NL rookie of the month in May, when he hit .322 with five home runs and 18 runs batted in. Over his next 40 games, he hit .200 with six RBIs.

  "During that time, I had good at-bats," DeWitt said, referring to the last month. "But I wasn't as aggressive as I should've been. I got defensive. I was letting too many good pitches go by."

  DeWitt, a surprise inclusion on the opening-day roster, was sent down once before, on April 24. He was recalled two days later.