09/02/09 10:26 PM ET
Mientkiewicz returns as LA tweaks roster
Prospect Garate sent to Nats to complete Belliard deal
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
When the dust settled, the Dodgers' 40-man roster stood at 40, Tony Abreu was a day away from clearing waivers and being sent to the D-backs as the player to be named in the Jon Garland trade and reliever Will Ohman -- still on the 60-day disabled list but saying he's healthy -- was still wondering what would happen to him.
"We're still talking that through," manager Joe Torre said, knowing he has three left-handed relievers in his bullpen -- George Sherrill, Hong-Chih Kuo and Tuesday callup Scott Elbert, who let a 3-1 lead get away Tuesday night.
The Dodgers have 31 active players, and Torre said a few more would be arriving from Triple-A Albuquerque in the coming days. Among the most likely candidates are infielders Blake DeWitt and Chin-lung Hu and pitchers Cory Wade and Eric Stults.
For the umpteenth time in the past two days, Torre said that Thome will be a pinch-hitter and only a pinch-hitter, not a first baseman or third baseman or any other defensive position.
But Mientkiewicz insisted he can play first base, in spite of a surgically repaired shoulder that limits his throwing.
"I know my ability at first base and I'll take me at one arm over a lot of guys with two," he said. "If I do well or I don't do well, it won't be because of my shoulder."
After making the club as a long shot out of Spring Training, Mientkiewicz said he wouldn't be surprised to make a postseason roster.
"I've always felt that I'm better built for a three-week tournament than 162," he said.
Torre started Belliard at third base Wednesday night to give Casey Blake a night off. Belliard's acquisition made Abreu expendable, at least for what's left of this year, as both play third base, shortstop and second base.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.