Saturday, March 22, 2008

Morgan Ensberg Move Leaves Dodgers Flat

Dodgers Manager Joe Torre has worked with Yankees GM Brian Cashman so long that he should know what Cashman is thinking before Cashman thinks it. But if Torre was expecting Cashman to release corner infielder Morgan Ensberg, he was wrong.

With the Journal News reporting from Poughkeepsie that Ensberg has been named to the Yankees 40-man roster, Torre has been sent back to the drawing board to find a stopgap third baseman to replace veteran Nomar Garciaparra and prospect Andy LaRoche, both out with injuries.

Torre's disinterest in overpaying for Chicago's Joe Crede or Detroit's Brandon Inge leaves him with relatively few choices, and a decision on whether to use untested, 23-year-old former Dodgers first-round pick Blake DeWitt. DeWitt has never hit higher than Double A except for a brief stint in last year's Arizona Fall League in which he batted .281.

It hardly can be expected that the Dodgers would pay the price for Crede and Inge, both of whom are a poor fit in Los Angeles. But it remains a curiosity whether talks might heat up to acquire the mediocre economy model Wes Helms, believed to be available from Philadelphia.