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MLBeat: Ishii to skip start
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08/26/2002 10:15 pm ET 
MLBeat: Ishii to skip start
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com

Guillermo Mota was recalled from Las Vegas. (Jon SooHoo/Dodgers)

LOS ANGELES -- After getting shelled in a one-inning start Sunday, Kazuhisa Ishii will be skipped one start in the rotation. But manager Jim Tracy said Ishii will reclaim his starting spot the next time around and not be sent to the bullpen.

And Kevin Brown, who struck out nine in four innings of relief, will remain in the bullpen.

"To cast Ishii aside would be a bad move in the short and long term," said Evans. "He's won more games (13) than every starter. He's won as many games as Hideo Nomo did his rookie year. We'll get him over the hump."

After investing nearly $25 million to sign Ishii from Japan, management appears extremely concerned that the handling of his current slump could shake the left-hander's psyche down the road. So even though Brown is rounding into form and would seem to be a logical replacement for Ishii (who leads the league in walks and has a 9.00 ERA in his last six starts), Tracy and Evans aren't going in that direction at this point.

"He's a very important cog in the wheel, and well beyond 2002," Tracy said of Ishii. "You don't just take the guy and move him off to the side. We will give him a chance to get time away, as we did with Odalis Perez."

But Tracy acknowledged that opponents have had an opportunity to adjust to Ishii since his arrival from Japan.

"He's not sneaking up on anyone," Tracy said. "He has to be aware of that."

Meanwhile, with Ishii slumping and Brown improving, Tracy is already tiring of speculation that one will replace the other.

"I'm fielding questions on Brown because of what we saw last night, but that was one time," said Tracy, knowing that Brown has twice thrown seven scoreless innings this year only to break down physically. "I want to see that again. The impulse would be to stick him right back in. He had two so-so (relief) appearances, and last night he was awfully good. I don't want to heap all these expectations on him."

Brown was asked if he was ready to return to the rotation.

"I'm not getting into that," he said. "Whatever they decide they want me to do, I'll do. That's my job."

More pitching decisions: Meanwhile, the Dodgers juggled their bullpen with an eye on the post-season. They recalled hard-throwing right-hander Guillermo Mota, who had been demoted July 28 with a 4.28 ERA, because they believe he will be more helpful than Kevin Beirne, who was outrighted to Single-A Vero Beach with a 2.61 ERA.

Beirne was distressed because the Dodgers think more of Mota, and because he cleared waivers, meaning no other team was compelled to claim him.

"I'm disappointed," said Beirne. "Tracy said it wasn't like I didn't do my job. He said I would be back Monday, if there is a Monday. I've been a numbers guy before, but when you've pitched well it's harder to take."

Beirne was sent to Vero Beach instead of Las Vegas because the Florida State League schedule ends sooner and he can return to the club with rosters expanding Sept. 1.

Giovanni Carrara will be activated off the disabled list Sept. 1. The Dodgers will be able to select from any of them for the post-season roster because they will have at least one pitcher (Darren Dreifort) on the disabled list.

Jordan update: Brian Jordan continued to improve from a stiff lower back and started to swing a bat with soft tossing. He said he is increasingly optimistic that he will be able to return to the field without requiring another injection.

Fantasy Edge: Dave Roberts is 1-for-11 lifetime against Miguel Batista, Arizona's starting pitcher Tuesday night.




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