Notes: Always something to play for
If title gets out of reach, Tracy urges a fight for second
PHOENIX -- Los Angeles hasn't played too many meaningless late-season games during Jim Tracy's five-year stint as Dodgers manager, so Tracy called a team meeting before Tuesday's game to remind his players that there are still things to play for, even after they are eliminated from the race.Tracy said he's only managed 10 games in his first four years that didn't have a bearing on the postseason, but barring a collapse from the first-place Padres, the Dodgers can only play for second place. Los Angeles has already been mathematically eliminated from the Wild Card race and trails San Diego by eight games with 13 left to play. "We definitely have to bear in mind the fact that if you can't be first, then you want to be second," Tracy said of the Dodgers, who are two games out of second. "First time in five years I've had to do that," Tracy added about the meeting. Shortening the rotation? Should that collapse by the Padres occur -- and the Dodgers take care of their own business -- Tracy said he might rely on a four-man pitching rotation. But if it is clear by the weekend that the Dodgers don't have a chance at the postseason, then he sees no point in breaking from the five-man routine. "We'll see what the Padres do the next few days," Tracy said. "If they collapse, if they lose them all and we win them all, then we'll see. If that doesn't happen, then I don't see the value in it. I see none." Edwin Jackson and Elmer Dessens are candidates to be the fifth man. Roster moves: The Dodgers made two roster additions on Tuesday, activating Wilson Alvarez from the disabled list and recalling Jonathan Broxton from Double-A Jacksonville. Alvarez is 1-4 this season but has only thrown 23 innings while making three trips to the DL. Broxton posted a 7.04 ERA while making eight appearances with the Dodgers in late July and early August. He nailed down the save in the Southern League championship on Saturday. The 21-year-old was 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA for the Suns. Back home: Dioner Navarro was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup as he returned to Los Angeles to be with his wife and newborn son after doctors had to hook up a feeding tube to the child. Navarro's status for Wednesday is uncertain. "Obviously, that's where he needs to be," Tracy said. Jason Phillips started in his place and batted seventh. Holding out hope: Tracy was encouraged by Odalis Perez's bullpen session on Monday and is hopeful that Perez can still pitch this season. Perez is sidelined with a strained right oblique muscle. Success: J.D. Drew underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder and wrist on Tuesday. Tracy said Drew should be ready by Spring Training. Drew broke his wrist 72 games into his first season with the Dodgers when he was hit by a pitch from Arizona's Brad Halsey on July 3. Drew was hitting .286 with 15 homers at the time. Road to recovery: Injured closer Eric Gagne continued his throwing program on Tuesday as he tries to overcome right elbow surgery that ended his season in June. Gagne, who threw on Friday, was scheduled to make 40 throws from varying distances. The closer, who missed the first month of the season with elbow problems, converted all eight of his save opportunities in 2005. On deck: The Dodgers continue their series at Bank One Ballpark with former Diamondbacks farmhand Brad Penny (7-9, 3.92 ERA) on the mound. He will face Brandon Webb (12-11, 3.73 ERA).
Daniel Blank is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.