09/07/10 9:51 PM ET
Speedy outfielder Oeltjen joins Dodgers
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Oeltjen, 27, bats and throws left-handed. He hit .347 in 49 games at Albuquerque after joining the club at midseason, when he opted out of a contract while playing for Milwaukee's Triple-A affiliate.
Combined, Oeltjen hit .320 with 13 homers, 71 RBIs, 87 runs and 27 stolen bases.
A native of Australia, he originally signed with Minnesota, but made his Major League debut with Arizona last year. Last Sept. 10 as a pinch-runner, Oeltjen scored the winning run against the Dodgers on a walk-off walk.
"I was surprised," Oeltjen said of his callup. "They told me yesterday after our last game and I was getting ready to go home to Australia."
Oeltjen primarily plays the corner outfield positions.
"I'm a gap-to-gap speed guy," he said.
Oeltjen almost was promoted at the end of July, manager Joe Torre said, but the Dodgers instead added an extra pitcher.
"We want to see him at this level," said Torre. "He's got speed and we haven't had a lot of that. We'll see what it looks like."
Craig Shipley, Jeff Williams and Luke Prokopec are other Australians that have played for the Dodgers.
Dodgers part ways with infielder Belliard
SAN DIEGO -- Infielder Ronnie Belliard was designated for assignment Tuesday by the Dodgers, who called up outfielder Trent Oeltjen from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Belliard, primarily used as a right-handed pinch-hitter, was batting .216 with two homers and 19 RBIs. As a pinch-hitter, he was 7-for-41 with four RBIs.
"This year, once [Blake] DeWitt was the second baseman, [Belliard] pretty much was relegated to the bench and he knew that," manager Joe Torre said. "He did the best he could with what we asked him to do. He's used to getting more at-bats. It's easier to play as a regular than to figure it out off the bench."
The Dodgers had similar results with another regular -- Garret Anderson -- trying to make the switch to a bench role. He was released Aug. 8.
"There are very few people who make that transition seamlessly," said Torre. "Chris Chambliss is one who comes to mind."
Belliard, given the news before batting practice, hugged a few teammates, dressed and hurriedly left the clubhouse without stopping to speak with reporters.
He was acquired last August from the Nationals and batted .351 in 24 games, winning the starting second-base job from All-Star Orlando Hudson.
Torre balances time for callups, playoff run
SAN DIEGO -- Manager Joe Torre was talking about how he would get his September callups playing time and soon he was fending off questions about giving up on the Dodgers' long-shot playoff bid.
"No, not yet," Torre said. "We're playing this club [San Diego] and we obviously need to go out and still play hard and hope it's good enough."
Realistically, the Dodgers need a miracle for either a National League West title or Wild Card berth. That said, Torre wants to take a look at some of his recent callups, including the latest one, outfielder Trent Oeltjen.
"This is an opportunity to look at some people and see what we see," he said. "The last 20-something games, we can try to get an idea of what's there. We'll get some guys some starting assignments. Just because we play [John] Lindsey or [Russ] Mitchell doesn't mean we can't win a ballgame. We're not doing wholesale stuff."
Lindsey and Mitchell are looking to make their Major League debuts. The other callups -- Oeltjen, John Ely, Jon Link, Chin-lung Hu and A.J. Ellis -- have previously played in the Major Leagues.
Five of LA's affiliates close with winning mark
SAN DIEGO -- Five of the Dodgers' seven Minor League clubs finished the regular season with winning records, with Ogden winning the Rookie Level Pioneer League and the Class A Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League reaching the playoffs.
The Loons finished the season 90-49, the most wins in the Minor Leagues. They finished the first half in second place, one game back, and finished six games in front in the second half. They open a best-of-three playoff series Wednesday at Fort Wayne.
The Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes finished 72-71 and in second place, one game back. Double-A Chattanooga went 68-74, nine games back in the first half and 12 games back in the second half. Class A Inland Empire struggled to a 50-90 mark, 20 games back in the first half and 15 games out in the second half.
Rookie Level Ogden went 44-28 and finished in first place in both halves. Rookie Level Arizona went 30-24 and finished in second place, 2 1/2 games out. The Dodgers' Rookie Level Dominican Summer League team went 40-31 and finished third, 2 1/2 games back.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.