08/26/2002 10:15 pm ET
MLBeat: Ishii to skip start
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
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
And Kevin Brown, who struck out nine in four innings of relief, will remain in
"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
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
Fantasy Edge: Dave Roberts is 1-for-11 lifetime against Miguel Batista,
Arizona's starting pitcher Tuesday night.