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Dodgers invite 11 to Spring Training12/12/2007 4:09 PM ET
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they have signed 11 players to minor league contracts and invited them to Spring Training, according to General Manager Ned Colletti. Those players will join three previous signees, bringing the number of non-roster invitees to 14 for the club's 61st season in Vero Beach, FL this February. Right-handed pitchers Tanyon Sturtze, Mike Koplove and Brian Falkenborg headline the group and will be joined by fellow right-handers Rick Asadoorian, Fernando Desgue and Greg Jones. Left-handed hurler Brian Shackelford, outfielder John-Ford Griffin, first-baseman John Lindsey, infielder Angel Chavez and catcher Danny Ardoin are the others coming to Vero Beach, joining catcher Rene Rivera, pitcher Chan-Ho Park and infielder Terry Tiffee, who were previously announced as non-roster invitees. Sturtze, 37, last pitched in the Major Leagues for Dodger Manager Joe Torre's Yankees from 2004-06, going 11-5 with two saves and a 5.26 ERA in 110 games. In 11 big league seasons, the right-hander is 40-44 with a 5.26 ERA in 269 games (84 starts) with the Cubs, Rangers, White Sox, Devil Rays, Blue Jays and Yankees. Sturtze attended Spring Training with the Dodgers as a non-roster invitee in 2004 and was released and then re-signed nine days later, before being shipped to New York for first baseman Brian Myrow in April of that season. Last season, the Massachusetts native pitched in the Braves' organization. Koplove, 31, spent last season with the Cleveland organization, pitching in five games for the Indians and 51 for Triple-A Buffalo, where he went 4-2 with 14 saves and a 2.50 ERA. Prior to that, Koplove had spent his entire career as a dependable reliever with the Diamondbacks, going 15-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 222 games out of the bullpen from 2001-06. Koplove's best season was in 2002, when he went 6-1 with a 3.36 ERA in 55 games, helping Arizona to a division title. Falkenborg, 29, went 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in 16 games out of the bullpen for the Cardinals last season. The right-hander has also pitched for the Orioles, Padres and Dodgers over five seasons (1999, 2004-07). In Los Angeles, Falkenborg won his first and only Major League game on May 9, 2004, but appeared in just six games for the club that year. The Newport Beach native was the closer at Triple-A Memphis for most of last season and went 3-4 with 23 saves in 52 contests. Ardoin, 33, has logged 141 big league games behind the plate for Minnesota, Texas, Colorado and Baltimore. The Louisiana native hit .229 with six homers and 22 RBI as Colorado's backup catcher during the 2005 campaign and spent 2007 at the Triple-A level for Round Rock (Houston) and Memphis (St. Louis). Griffin, 28, has been in the Blue Jays' organization since 2003 and last season hit .252 with 26 homers and 83 RBI in 133 games for Triple-A Syracuse. In 2005, he was an International League All-Star after tallying career highs with 30 home runs and 103 RBI for Syracuse. The Florida native has had two brief stints in the big leagues with Toronto, going 4-for-13 (.308) with a homer in seven games during 2005 and 3-for-10 (.300) with a homer in 2007. Originally a first-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2001, the former Florida State Seminole was shipped to Oakland in 2002 along with Ted Lilly in a three-way trade that netted New York Jeff Weaver. Asadoorian, 27, is a converted outfielder who has been pitching in the Reds' organization since 2005, after they selected him in the December 2004 Rule 5 Draft. The Massachusetts native was a first-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 1999 and has spent eight seasons in the minor leagues for Boston, St. Louis, Texas and Cincinnati. Last season was Asadoorian's first as a full-time pitcher and he excelled at Single-A Sarasota, posting a 1.29 ERA in 12 games. The right-hander then spent the bulk of 2007 pitching for Double-A Chattanooga, where he went 1-1 with a 3.59 ERA in 37 games out of the bullpen. Desgue, 36, saw action in the Triple-A Mexican League the last two years, leading the Guerreros de Oaxaca in saves with 19 in 2006 and going 2-7 with 17 rescues and a 7.11 ERA in 41 games for the Guerreros and 1-0 with seven saves for the Piratas de Campiche in 2007. Prior to that, the native of the Dominican Republic spent 2005 in the Independent Atlantic League, earning seven saves while pitching for the Atlantic City Surf. After being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Royals in 1992, the former Fernando De La Cruz, spent time with four different organizations (Angels, Red Sox, Rockies and Tigers), reaching as high as Triple-A Toledo for the Detroit organization in 2003. Jones, 31, has pitched in 38 big league games, all of them with the Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels in 2003 and from 2005-07. The right-hander has no Major League record and an ERA of 5.48, entirely as a reliever. Last season, Jones worked in nine games for the Angels and spent the rest of the year pitching for Triple-A Salt Lake, where he went 4-2 with three saves and a 4.86 ERA in 36 games out of the 'pen. Shackelford, 31, has a lifetime record of 2-0 with a 4.11 ERA in 63 big league games with the Cincinnati Reds during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. In 2005, the left-hander went 1-0 with a 2.43 ERA in 37 games for the Reds. Last season, the Oklahoma native split time between Triple-A Louisville in the Reds' organization and Triple-A Durham in the Devil Rays' system. Shackelford was a combined 0-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 53 games. In seven minor league seasons spanning 242 games (one start), the southpaw is 17-16 with a 3.75 ERA. Chavez, 26, played all four infield positions for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the Yankees' organization last year, including 52 games at third, 35 at second and 24 at shortstop. Overall, Chavez batted .291 with 11 homers and a career-high 66 RBI in 430 at-bats. The native of Panama was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants in 1998 and stayed in their organization through the 2005 season. Chavez was called up in August of 2005 and earned his only big league experience, going 5-for-19 (.263) in 10 games at second base, shortstop and third base for San Francisco. Lindsey, 30, was signed by the Dodgers as a minor league free agent on Jan. 9, 2007 and went on to hit more home runs than anyone in the organization this past season. In 56 games for the Double-A Jacksonville Suns, Lindsey cracked 11 homers and then blasted 19 in 300 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas in 2007. He led all Dodger minor leaguers with a combined 30 home runs and 121 RBI and was named the Dodgers' Minor League Player of the Month in July. The Mississippi native closed out the season on a 22-game hitting streak, during which he batted .358 (34-for-95). Prior to joining the Dodgers, Lindsey had played 939 minor league games in the Rockies', Mariners' and Marlins' systems.
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