Originally written March 21, 2013 on ChadMoriyama.com:
Javy Guerra has been optioned to AAA after a rough Spring in which he dealt with injury and has been limited to just a couple of appearances in-game. The Dodgers have a stacked pen and with Guerra’s injuries and struggles at times last year he was going to have to excel during Spring Training in order to secure a spot on the Opening Day roster. Tony Gwynn, Jr. has also been assigned to AAA Albuquerque. Gwynn is one of the few guys with the ability to back up Matt Kemp in center and the previous big league experience doing so but the move reinforces just how little Tony can swing the lumber and the fact that the Dodgers clearly have faith that Carl Crawford will be healthy enough to serve as the number two centerfielder. Shawn Tolleson and Justin Sellers were optioned to AAA as well, while Jesus Flores was reassigned to minor-league camp. Additionally, Chris Withrow was optioned to minor-league camp along with Juan Abreu, and Wilkin Castillo. The team released three players in Dallas McPherson, Ramon Castro, and Nick Evans. —– The Dodgers have signed Dashenko Ricardo of Curacao to a contract after Dashenko participated in the World Baseball Classic, according to Renè Saggiadi. Ricardo is one of the most highly-rated European players that was available, according to some, and spent the previous six years in the Orioles‘ and Giants‘ minor-league systems where he couldn’t hit a lick. So that “highly rated” is probably more so in terms of name value than potential. From the Dodgers perspective, a catcher playing for Netherlands in the WBC…. Kenley Jansen, Part Deux? We can only hope he’s half that good when he inevitably gets converted to the mound. Along with Ricardo came the signings of Dominican prospects Dennis Santana and Carlos Aquino – both shortstops – and lefty Cesar Romero. None carry the name value of Ricardo but all three could be more impactful signings, especially if Ricardo remains behind the dish and doesn’t improve as a hitter. The Dodgers continued their quest to re-establish a presence internationally Sunday by announcing four signings, including Dashenko Ricardo, the catcher on Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. While Ricardo is the best known, he also has six professional seasons in which he has languished mostly at Class A because of a .229 career batting average. There are suggestions the Dodgers might try to shift him to pitcher, as they did successfully with fellow Curacao native Kenley Jansen, once a light-hitting catcher. —– Tim Federowicz has locked up the job of backing up A.J. Ellis with the removal of Flores from major league camp. ===== Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke.
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