07/31/12 9:55 PM ET
Dodgers' clubhouse abuzz after slew of deals
By Ken Gurnick and Alex Angert / MLB.com
With the acquisitions of relievers Randy Choate and Brandon League bolstering the bullpen, and Ramirez and Victorino adding consistency to the lineup, the players were ready to start making their own noise.
"We are getting better, better and better. There is no doubt about it," Ramirez said.
"The front office is doing everything they can to improve the ballclub. Now, it's up to us to do our job on the field."
The Dodgers entered Tuesday in a virtual tie atop the NL West with the Giants, who added their own outfielder from Philadelphia on Monday in Hunter Pence.
From Day 1, the new ownership group has pledged a commitment to winning as soon as possible, and the players are pleased to see the front office owning up to its promises.
"As long as you get the right mix of people and the right guys in here, it's definitely going to help," Mark Ellis said. "I think they have done a good job recognizing what we need on this team. "
After positioning themselves to be in the pennant race during the first three months of the season, the Dodgers are excited about the possibilities down the stretch. The Giants and D-backs have both made moves this week to make the NL West race an exciting one, but the Dodgers think they now have what it takes.
"We've already seen what Hanley brings," A.J. Ellis said. "His energy on the field is outstanding -- offense, defense, running the bases. Shane Victorino, everyone knows what he does."
While Ellis was excited to see players like Ramirez and Victorino added to the team, there was a bittersweet feeling due to the departure of Josh Lindblom.
Ellis, like many others in the Dodgers clubhouse, had a close friendship with Lindblom and said it is going to take some time for him to figure out what he wants to personally say to his friend and former teammate. However, he did acknowledge how important of a player Lindblom was to Los Angeles.
"One thing that nobody can ever take away or forget is that we wouldn't be in this position without Josh Lindblom and what he's done to help us get to this spot," Ellis said. "He's picked up so many big innings for us in the bullpen and he filled so many different roles. Without him, there is a good chance we wouldn't even be in a position to make trade acquisitions."
League joins Dodgers, ready to contribute
LOS ANGELES -- After the Mariners defeated the Blue Jays Monday night, Brandon League headed into the clubhouse and gave a few guys some high fives before being called into the office.
And just like that, his career with Seattle was over. On Tuesday, League's career with Los Angeles was just beginning, as he sat in front of his new locker in a Dodger uniform surrounded by his new teammates. For League, the trade came as bittersweet news.
"I'm just sad to leave Seattle, where I held my home for the last three years," he said. "But I'm also very excited to start a new chapter and play for a team that is in a race right now. I'm happy to be here and I'm ready to contribute."
League has struggled this year, posting an 0-5 record with a 3.53 ERA and nine saves in 46 games. However, he is just one year removed from an All-Star game appearance and a season with 37 saves in 42 chances.
Manager Don Mattingly said Kenley Jansen remains the team's closer, with League sliding into the eighth-inning role alongside Ronald Belisario. Mattingly, who described League as a pitcher with big-time stuff, said who he uses will depend on that night's matchup.
League, a right-hander, essentially replaces Josh Lindblom in the bullpen after Tuesday's trade that sent the former Dodgers right-hander to the Phillies for Shane Victorino.
"Throughout my career, I have pitched anywhere from the fifth inning to the ninth, even sometimes past that," League said. "I'm ready to pitch where they see me being the most successful."
Lilly 'a little sore' after first rehab appearance
LOS ANGELES -- With no Ryan Dempster trade, the Dodgers still have rookie Stephen Fife scheduled to start Wednesday and still are waiting on injured pitcher Ted Lilly to return from a sore shoulder.
Lilly, who made his first rehab appearance Sunday with two scoreless innings for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, sounded only lukewarm about his progress on Tuesday.
"I'm feeling OK. A little sore," said Lilly, tentatively scheduled to make another rehab start Friday. "We'll see how it goes the next few days.
"I don't feel as good as I did at the beginning of Spring Training. My pitches are not where I like. Part of that is just missing so much time. I'm a bit of a feel pitcher, and I kind of need to be able to add and subtract and move the ball around to be effective."
Lilly was 5-1 with a 3.14 ERA when he went on the disabled list on May 24.