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07/09/08 11:09 PM ET
Dodgers' first pick close to signing
Martin pays visit; last year's No. 1 dealing with sore elbow
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Ethan Martin, the Dodgers' first-round Draft pick last month, was at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night in anticipation of his signing, which could come as early as Thursday. Martin, a 19-year-old right-handed pitcher from Stephens County High School in Georgia, is in line to receive a bonus of around $1.7 million as the 15th overall pick. Meanwhile, last year's first-round pick (19th overall), Chris Withrow, is nursing a recurring sore right elbow. Club officials insist there is no structural damage; however he has not pitched in a game this year and there is no timetable on when he will. Last month, Withrow apparently was close to being assigned to a Minor League roster, but suffered another setback. He currently is throwing at Class A Inland Empire, but it is not known when he will be game-ready and assigned to a Minor League roster. After a series of injuries have sidetracked the careers of first-round pitchers Greg Miller and Scott Elbert, the club is being extra cautious bringing back Withrow. Miller continues to struggle at Triple-A, while Elbert is throwing hard again at Double-A. The 19-year-old Withrow, who signed last year for a $1.35 million bonus, pitched only nine innings in six games last year.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.