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Los Angeles Dodgers Injury Report: From the Sublime To the Ridiculous

Dennis SchlossmanCorrespondent IMay 26, 2010

MIAMI - APRIL 11:  Starting pitcher Charlie Haeger #49 of the Los Angeles Dodgers waits for pitching coach Rick Honeycutt #40 to walk to the mound for a conversation while taking on the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on April 11, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Dodgers 6-5.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Things are getting crazy in Los Angeles.

With the MLB trade deadline slowly approaching, logic says it's not wise to lose a player to waivers.

An invaluable player to one team could be valuable to another; and when proposing a multi-player package to obtain a quality starting pitcher, player depth is critical.

But let's get real here. Would Nick Green or Charlie Haeger spark interest from other clubs around the majors?

Many thought that Green would be the odd man out Tuesday when Rafael Furcal was activated from the disabled list; but fortunately for Green, relief pitcher George Sherrill headed to the 15-day DL with sudden tightness in his back to make room for Furcal.

Green has no options remaining on his contract and could have possibly been picked up by another team if designated for assignment.

Sherrill said he strained his back while getting into bed on Saturday night, rolling and reaching so he wouldn't disturb his wife, who was sleeping.

That's right—climbing into his bed. 

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With the strain, however, Sherrill did throw in the bullpen Sunday and was available if needed.

Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said the Dodgers all but decided to put him on the disabled list Monday. But Sherrill participated in a throwing session Tuesday and, at the time, said he was not concerned about himself in regards to the Dodgers' need to find a spot for Furcal.

Regardless, it was a last-minute decision made by Dodger management in an effort not to lose Nick Green.

But why keep Green?

Green has been used very sparingly since being called up from Albuquerque, having only appeared in five games with eight at-bats. From a depth chart perspective, it doesn't even make sense to carry him on the active roster. With Furcal now healthy, utility infielder Jamey Carroll can cover shortstop and second base, while Ronnie Belliard can fill in at first and third base, if required.

One possible explanation is that Green is being considered by management as part of a package deal to attract a profitable trade. The other, quite simply, is the Dodgers don't have any desire whatsoever to pay out Green's entire contract if he isn't on the squad trying to produce at least something.

In another freak occurrence, pitcher Charlie Haeger, who was closing in on his return to the squad after a battle with plantar fasciitis, stubbed a toe Monday during his rehab start for Class A Inland Empire.

Yes indeed, ladies and gentlemen—a stubbed toe.

Torre said that Haeger would remain with the 66ers indefinitely, pending improvement to his toe.

Dodger critics thought Haeger would be long gone by now. In seven appearances and 23.1 innings pitched, Haeger's ERA is a whopping 8.49.

As with Green, Haeger has no options remaining on his contract. If released, Los Angeles would be responsible for compensating Haeger the balance of his $411,000 yearly contract. It doesn't sound like much money, but for a club where the dollars are temporarily thin, every penny counts.

With those types of numbers, it's hard to believe that Haeger would draw any interest from teams in need of pitching. In addition, the knuckleball is quickly becoming a lost art, and many pitching coaches around the majors have difficulty with instruction.

Considering the recent scare after Manny Ramirez injured his toe while stretching in the locker room, and more seriously Andre Ethier breaking his finger during batting practice, perhaps the Dodgers are just having a string of bad luck.

But with these latest moves to save Nick Green and Charlie Haeger, maybe it's a stroke of brilliance by Dodger management.

After all, Los Angeles still hasn't lost anyone to waivers, and in essence they're carrying 31 players on a 25-man roster.

Nevertheless, with the addition of Sherrill, six players still remain on the DL; and with the returns of Ethier, Brad Ausmus, Vicente Padilla, and Cory Wade due shortly, the Dodgers will seemingly be forced to make more concrete decisions in terms of player personnel.

Or perhaps we'll be seeing some more "injuries."

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