Colletti: No deals imminent for Dodgers
GM keeping focus on starting, relief help before Deadline
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, after calling up 22-year-old reliever Kenley Jansen, said Friday no deals appeared imminent in his continued search for experienced pitching help with the Trade Deadline barely a week away.
"I'm waiting to hear responses to what we talked about with other clubs," said Colletti. "I don't owe anybody a call. Everybody owes me a call."
As in recent years, the Dodgers are seeking players to plug holes without decimating the farm system or their pocketbook. Colletti has done well in these situations, landing Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake, Greg Maddux, Marlon Anderson, Jon Garland, George Sherrill and Ronnie Belliard among others in similar midseason deals, often absorbing little or no salary increase.
But the Dodgers have not picked up the kind of contracts that would come with top-line starters like Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren, and they are not believed to be serious pursuers of those two now.
And they've been stung enough (Cleveland's Carlos Santana in the Blake trade, for example) to be reluctant to part with multiple top prospects, especially if there's also a hefty contract to inherit.
Their focus is split between starting and relief, especially with the season-long struggles of relievers Sherrill and the continued absence of Ronald Belisario. Colletti said he had no idea when, or if, Belisario -- believed to be undergoing substance abuse treatment -- would return, conceding that he pretty much is assuming he won't have Belisario for purposes of roster building.
"We need to upgrade either [starting or relief]," said Colletti. "And it doesn't mean that on the 31st [of July] it's over with. Last year we picked up [Vicente] Padilla [after his release], Jon Garland, Jim Thome after that."
Colletti said picking up a financial commitment is possible.
"It depends what it is," he said. "If it makes sense as a baseball deal, we're going to do it. Am I giving up an exorbitant salary and a fistful of prospects? I'm not going to do that any time."
Colletti said injuries to Manny Ramirez and Reed Johnson have left the outfield corps thin, but pitching remains the trade priority.
"We're looking a little there, but not to the extent of it hurting our pitching hunt," he said. "The outfield is a little more concern, not just Manny, but also Reed Johnson, but not to the extent of forgoing pitching. Starter or reliever, you can't cut yourself off from either. Wherever the deal takes us to fill one or both, we'll take it."
Johnson has minor setback in back recovery
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Reed Johnson, who is on the 15-day disabled list, resumed baseball activities Friday after suffering a setback in his recovery from a lower lumbar strain.
Johnson, who has chronic back problems resulting from 2007 disk surgery, said he was making steady progress until a flareup after resuming running on a treadmill Monday.
"That set me back a few days," said Johnson. "I aggravated it a little bit, not anywhere close to where it was two weeks ago. I didn't have to start completely over, but I'm not where I thought I would be. Running is always the last thing I have to do to get ready to come back. It's frustrating to get this close and all of a sudden have a setback."
Johnson is eligible to return Saturday and was planning to. With Manny Ramirez expected to be disabled for three weeks, the Dodgers were hoping for a quick return from Johnson. They are shorthanded enough for right-handed-hitting outfielders that they've been using utility infielder Jamey Carroll there.
The Dodgers' bench is further limited because of the uncertain state of the bullpen, management choosing to carry 13 pitchers and a bench of only four position players.
"Do I want 13? No," said manager Joe Torre. "Do I need 13? Yeah. It's safer to do it this way. By the road trip we can switch back."
Johnson said he is hoping to continue getting treatment with the club when it visits San Diego, then he hopes to go out on a brief Minor League rehab assignment before returning.
Broxton ready after bout with food poisoning
LOS ANGELES -- Closer Jonathan Broxton pronounced himself fit for action Friday night after missing Thursday night's game with food poisoning symptoms.
Broxton was given an IV before Thursday night's game, but the symptoms persisted and he was sent home. Hong-Chih Kuo took over as closer and pitched a hitless ninth inning with two strikeouts and a walk for his third save of the season.
On Tuesday night, Broxton loaded the bases and was involved in a rules fiasco that resulted in him being incorrectly removed from the game when acting manager Don Mattingly was judged by umpires to have made two trips to the mound in a matter of seconds. In that game, Broxton's fastball was down to 91 mph. Manager Joe Torre blamed it on mechanics and said Broxton's arm was healthy.
Kuo was unavailable Friday night, Torre said.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.