The young right-hander is bucking tremendous odds in his attempt to make the staff. Since 1981, the Dodgers have selected only 11 players in the Rule 5 draft and only three of those players have made the Opening Day roster, including right-handed starter D.J. Houlton, who made the club in 2005.
Houlton is the only one of the trio to remain with the big league club for his entire rookie season, as the other two players, Frank Lankford (1998) and Jose Antonio Nunez (2001) were both offered back to their original club before the All-Star break. In addition to Monasterios, the Dodgers had Rule 5 draftee Armando Zerpa in camp this spring, but he was offered back to Boston on March 15.
With Hideki Matsui starting in the outfield for the Angels, not less than 17 Japanese correspondents were on hand to chronicle the proceedings, plus a goodly number of photographers.
Monasterios tacked a pair of scoreless innings and left the game having worked four innings, allowed five hits and three earned runs. Monasteries, George Sherrill, Justin Miller (who allowed the fourth run), Jonathan Broxton and Jeff Weaver held the Angeles to a single run and two hits after the second inning.
The Dodgers managed seven hits but only scored a pair of runs, one in each the fourth and fifth innings, and had 13 base runners during the game but left eight of them on base. James Loney had a pair of hits, Blake DeWitt, Garrett Anderson (RBI) and Jason Repko had doubles and Casey Blake knocked in the final Dodgers run with a sac fly.
The game crisply played and was packed with outstanding plays on both sides and Manny Ramirez was gunned down at the plate in the fourth to kill a promising rally.
Rocky Start for Rookie
Monasterios gave up a deep, two-out double off Jason Repko's glove to center fielder Torri Hunter in the first inning and left fielder Hideki Matsui's line single to center drove him in with the first run of the season off the young Dodgers' pitcher. He retired the side but spent 26 pitches in the process.
The Angeles used the foul lines to good advantage in the second inning. Third baseman Brandon Wood smacked a ground-rule double just inside the right-field line and designated hitter Jeff Mathis, batting ninth, ripped a home run into the Dodgers bullpen down the left-field line.
Hunter opened the third with his second double, this one past Blake into the left-field corner. It was the fifth hit give up and four of them were for extra bases. Hunter stole third base and the Dodgers indicated that this was more than just a normal exhibition game by bringing the infield in to cut off the run.
Matsui bounced to Loney at first and Hunter held his base. First baseman Kendry Morales grounded to shortstop Chin-Lung Hu, and although he fumbled it for a moment, he threw Hunter out at the plate on a call so close that Angeles Manager Mike Scioscia came out to dispute it. Second baseman Howie Kendrick flew to Manny Ramirez in left to end the inning and the extreme defense did it's job.
Center fielder Jason Repko demonstrated his exceptional outfield skills by making a running, diving catch on a line drive by catcher Mike Napoli to open the fourth inning. A walk, a ground ball and a fly to left gave Monasterios his first easy inning -- and his last after reaching 74 pitches and he was replaced by George Sherrill in the fifth.
The Dodgers, held to a pair of walks and a hit-batsman over the first three innings, collected their first hit when Ramirez rolled a single into right field after second baseman Blake DeWitt opened the fourth with a walk. Designated hitter Garrett Anderson boomed a long shot off the center field wall, narrowly missing a game-tying home run.
DeWitt scored but Ramirez was gunned down at the plate although the television replay seemed to indicate Manny was safe. Hu was called out on strikes to end the inning but the Dodgers had cut the lead to 3-1.
Sherrill allowed a walk, hit a batter and after Hu let a ball eat him up at short, the bases were loaded and Justin Miller took over on the mound with one out. Hu started a 6-3 double play to keep the Angeles scoreless.
Catcher Justin Knoedler singled to lead of the fifth and moved to third on DeWitt's ground rule double to left. Casey Blake's sacrifice fly to left made it a one-run game.
Angels starter Joe Saunders left after five having allowed a pair of runs and four hits.
Napoli bounced the fourth Angeles double of the game down the left field line to open the sixth. A ground ball and Mathis' long fly to center drove in his third run and the Angeles' led 4-2.
br> Ramirez drove a long, high shot to the base of the right field fence and Cord Aldridge made a diving, sliding catch on the warning track, disappearing a a cloud of dust. It saved a run because first baseman James Loney followed with a single.
Jonathan Broxton had his best inning of the spring, retiring the Angeles in order 1-2-3 with a strikeout.
Repko doubled off Terry Evans glove in center field to open the bottom of the seventh. It was his second hit of the spring in 21 at-bats. With one out, DeWitt popped to short and the left fielder Michael Ryan and shortstop Gary Pachett collided, with Ryan going down hard and leaving the game. Darwin Perez replaced him in left.
Prentice Redman, taking over for Ramirez in left, saved a fifth double by crashing into the left field gate to run down a long drive with one out and then Repko made his second glittering catch of the game, going far back to deep center and snatching a home run away from Napoli.
The Dodgers last, best chance came in the eighth with two out when Loney singled and John Lindsey ran for him and moved to second on a wild pitch but Anderson swung and missed a changeup to end the inning.
Quote of the Spring "I hate spring training, and it hates me, too. It's just a matter of taking my lumps here and getting them out of the way. I don't know what it is that finally clicks." -- LHP George Sherrill, who had a 5.40 ERA through his first four spring outings, on his annual struggles to prepare for the season.
Dodger second baseman Blake DeWitt ranks among the NL's Cactus League leaders in batting average (.371, 9th) and on-base percentage of .463 (fourth). Catcher A.J. Ellis also ranks among the NL Cactus League leaders in on-base percentage with a .448 mark (7th). On the mound, Dodger pitchers hold two of the top five spots in ERA with Ramon Ortiz (1.38, 3rd) and Chad Billingsley (1.86, 4th). Ramon Ortiz also leads the all NL pitchers with 17 strikeouts in Spring Training.
Billingsley to Face Minor Leaguers
During tomorrow's (Tuesday) scheduled off day, right-handed pitcher Chad Billingsley will throw to minor league hitters at 1 p.m.
Pitching Probables Wednesday --The Dodgers will starter Hiroki Kuroda, RHP Josh Lindblom and RHP Luis Ayala against the Oakland Athletics at Phoenix Wednesday (March 24).
Score by innings Angels 120 001 000-4 Dodgers 000 110 000-2 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave DeWitt 2b 3 0 1 0 .368 Nivar 2b 1 0 0 0 .000 Blake 3b 2 0 0 1 .280 Baez 3b 1 0 0 0 .000 Ethier rf 2 1 0 0 .300 Gibbons rf 1 0 0 0 .000 Ramirez lf 3 0 1 0 .333 Redman lf 1 0 0 0 .000 Loney 1b 4 0 2 0 .306 Lindsey pr-1b 0 0 0 0 .000 Anderson dh 4 0 1 1 .400 Hu ss 3 0 0 0 .211 Repko cf 4 0 1 0 .091 Knoedler c 4 1 1 0 .286 -------------------------------------- Dodgers 33 2 7 2 Angeles 31 4 6 4 Error- Hu (2). Two-base hits- Anderson (2), DeWitt (2), Repko (1). RBI- Anderson (2), Blake (5). LOB- Dodgers 8, Angels 6. RISP- Dodgers 1-for-10, Angeles 2-for-10. SF- Blake. DP- Hu and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Monasterios 4.0 5 3-3 2 2 2.25 Sherrill 0.2 0 0-0 2 0 4.91 JMiller 1.2 1 1-1 0 0 4.05 Broxton 1.0 0 0-0 0 1 3.86 Weaver 2.0 0 0-0 0 0 6.00 WP- Monasterios. HBP- DeWitt; by Weaver. T- 2:39. Att- 7,297.Dodger Blue Notes--Yesterday, the Dodgers reassigned IF Alfredo Amezaga to minor league camp, trimming their spring roster to 42 players. Dodger reliever Eric Gagné asked for and was granted his release yesterday, making him a free agent. Gagné was invited to camp in February as a non-roster player and allowed six runs in 2.2 innings this spring. The right-hander had been reassigned to minor league camp on March 15. Additionally, the Dodgers released veteran shortstop Angel Berroa. ...Russell Martin continued his rehab, once again facing live pitching in simulated at-bats. Martin has been throwing, catching and running sprints nearly full speed in his attempt to come back from a groin strain suffered back on March 6. Camelback Ranch, the award-winning (now record-breaking) home of the Dodgers and White Sox, hosted a Cactus League single-game record crowd on three consecutive days. Saturday night, the Dodgers and Padres played before 13,506 fans after the facility set records on Friday (Cubs at White Sox, 13,413) and Thursday (Cubs at Dodgers, 13,391). ...Dodger outfielder Garret Anderson went 3-for-3 Sunday and started as the designated hitter for Los Angeles in today's game. Anderson played for the Angels from 1994-2008 and in 2009 became the first player since Dwight Evans in 1991 to play at least 2,000 career games with his original team before moving on to another team. Last year, Anderson hit 2.68 with 13 homers and 61 RBI in 135 games for the Atlanta Braves. Anderson holds the Angels' team record for games (2,013), runs (1,024), hits (2,368), doubles (489), total bases (3,743) and RBI (1,292). --Dodgers Publicity