Ryu Back, Uribe Out, Olivo Gone for Good

On a day when news from Albuquerque involved cannibalism, the Dodgers struggled to fill the massive hole left by the hamstring injury suffered by third baseman Juan Uribe, but got a solid performance from Hyun-Jin Ryu, fresh off the disabled list.

35-year-old veteran catcher Miguel Olivo, who recently had 23 at bats with the Dodgers in which he hit a robust .217, was sent back down to triple-A, where he rejoined high priced Cuban signee Alexander Guerrero, and their reunion was not pretty.

During Tuesday’s game, they got into a heated argument on the field, and later on during the game while in the dugout, Olivo got into a physical skirmish with Guerrero, during which he, in the best tradition of Mike Tyson and Hannibal Lecter, bit off a piece of Guerrero’s ear.

Yesterday, Olivo was suspended by the Dodgers' organization, then today, he was told to go home, for good. Meanwhile, Guerrero, who might well have been called up to the bigs with the team's need for infield help due to Uribe's injury, instead is out five weeks following surgery to his chomped-upon ear. Instead of Guerrero, the Dodgers brought up fellow Cuban import Erisbel Arruebarrena, for his first shot with the team. Arruebarrena, a great field-poor hit prospect, has played nowhere else but shortstop, so it may be that Hanley Ramirez is once again moved over to third, with Arruebarrena inserted at short. Were the empty uniform non manager Don Mattingly to
ask, I’d recommend leaving Ramirez, who has just begun to snap out of a lengthy slump, at third, and give a shot to Chone Figgins at third.

Despite the drama and uncertainty, yesterday the best team money can buy did manage a one-run victory against the amazin’ Mets, thanks in great part to a fine performance from Ryu, who went six innings, striking out nine while allowing only two runs, in his first start since April 27. Unquestionably, that last starting spot, most recently manned by Paul Maholm (1-4, 5.40 ERA, 1.73 WHIP), has been a weakness with Josh Beckett not having been ready for the start of the season and then the injuries to first Clayton Kershaw and then Ryu. Now, the full complement of five quality starters that I talked about a few weeks ago is in place and hopefully healthy for the long haul.

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