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November 30, 2004

Dodgers protecting several Suns

From: OurSports Central (press release), WI - Nov 30, 2004

November 30, 2004 - The Dodgers have added seven players to the 40-man Major League roster, protecting those players from the Rule V Draft at next month's Winter Meetings. Four played with the Suns in 2004 and two more are expected to be in Jacksonville this season.

Left-handed starters Ryan Ketchner and Derek Thompson, right-handed reliever Franquelis Osoria and outfielder Jason Repko, who tied for the home run lead in the Arizona Fall League, were the former Suns added. Second baseman Delwyn Young and catcher Russell Martin, expected to be promoted to Jacksonville this season, were joined by outfielder Brian Myrow on the protected list.

Ketchner, 22, was acquired from Seattle in April for Jolbert Cabrera. He was a 10th-round pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft by the Mariners. He went 8-7 with a 3.02 ERA with the Suns, finishing third in ERA in the Southern League. He made one start for Class AAA Las Vegas and allowed one run in seven innings. It is believed he would be the first deaf pitcher to reach the Major Leagues since Luther Taylor played for the New York Giants from 1900-08.

Thompson, 23, was the 37th overall pick in 2000 by the Cleveland Indians and was acquired by the Dodgers in a Rule V trade in 2003, but missed that season with elbow surgery. In his first season back, he went 5-7 with a 3.72 ERA, striking out 100 with 51 walks in 118-2/3 innings with the Suns.

Osoria, 23, was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1999. A slender right-hander, he was a bullpen workhorse in his fifth professional season by going 8-5 with a 3.56 ERA, 73 strikeouts and 18 walks in 81 innings with the Suns and also appeared briefly with Las Vegas. He features an above-average slider and sinker mix as well as a solid fastball.

Repko, 23, was a first-round pick in 1999 out of high school. After splitting the 2004 season between the Suns and Las Vegas, he hit .291 with six homers and 19 RBI with the Suns and .311-7-41 at Las Vegas. Repko had driven in 23 runs in 119 games with the Suns in 2003, but gathered 25 RBI in 117 at bats in the AFL, against stronger competition.

Young, 22, was a fourth-round pick out of Santa Barbara City College. In a full season at Class A-Advanced Vero Beach, he hit .281 with 22 homers, 85 RBI, a .511 slugging percentage and led the Florida State League with 61 extra-base hits.

Martin, 21, was drafted in the 17th round in 2002 out of Chipola (Fla.) Junior College. He hit .250 with 15 home runs, 64 RBI and a league-leading 71 walks for Vero Beach in 2004, then opened eyes in the recently concluded AFL with a .452 on-base percentage and a .296 batting average. He is considered the organization's best catching prospect.

Myrow, 28, was acquired in June from the New York Yankees for Tanyon Sturtze. He hit .268 for the Yankees' Class AAA Columbus, Ohio, club when the Dodgers acquired him and assigned him to Las Vegas. In 50 games, he hit .359 with six homers and 29 RBI.

Players protected on the 40-man roster may not be selected in the Rule V Draft, which will be held at the Winter Meetings in Anaheim on December 13. Not all players left off the roster are eligible to be selected. After being drafted, players have a three to four year window of protection before being exposed to the Rule V Draft.

Each team is allowed to designate another 38 players at the triple-A level, from which other Major League teams may select. However, teams must place these players on their Major League 25-man roster for one year or return the player to his original organization.

Last season, a record 20 players were selected in the Major League phase. Two seasons ago, Suns outfielder Shane Victorino was selected by the San Diego Padres and batted .151 with 73 at bats before being returned to the Dodgers.

Copyright 2004 OurSports Central