|Seeking a top-of-the-order hitter to complement shortstop Rafael Furcal, the Dodgers traded for Royals left fielder Scott Podsednik, who ranked third in the American League with 30 stolen bases (and first with 12 caught stealing) at the time of the trade. Kansas City acquired catcher Lucas May, who played in this year’s Triple-A all-star game, and low Class A Great Lakes righty Elisaul Pimentel, who earlier this season aided in the rescue of a motorcycle crash victim near the Loons’ ballpark in Midland, Mich.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti sought out Podsednik to protect against an extended absence by regular left fielder Manny Ramirez or backup Reed Johnson, both of whom are on the disabled list. Rookie Xavier Paul has played in their stead, but in July he has batted just .216/.267/.273 with three doubles and no stolen bases. Think of Podsednik as this year’s Juan Pierre, who served as Ramirez’s primary backup in ’09 but whom the Dodgers traded to the White Sox last December.
|Lucas May, c
Age: 25. Position: C (76 G).
Born: Oct. 24, 1984 in Las Vegas.
Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 195. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Parkway West HS, Ballwin, Mo.
Career Transactions: Selected by Dodgers in eighth round of 2003 draft; signed June 6, 2003.
Like Russell Martin and Carlos Santana, May began life in the Dodgers organization as an infielder. He played shortstop for three years before switching to the outfield in 2005 and ’06. In his fourth year as a catcher, May has quick feet, plus arm strength and quick pop times behind the plate—he gunned down 20 percent of basestealers in Triple-A this year and 35 percent last year in Double-A. His receiving ability is regarded as average to a tick below. While he isn’t a huge offensive threat, May makes contact and can line the ball into the gap on occasion. He runs well for a catcher. Most view him as a future major league backup.
|Elisaul Pimentel, rhp
Born: July 10, 1988 in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 170. Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Dodgers, Dec. 12, 2006.
At age 22, Pimentel is old for his level, as they say in the industry. But to paraphrase one tenured scouting director, it’s not like they’re checking ID on the mound. Age can be almost irrelevant when evaluating late-blooming pitchers, particularly those who profile as back-of-the-rotation starters or relievers—and that’s Pimentel. Among starters in the Midwest League, he ranked fourth in opponent average (.210) and fifth in both strikeouts per nine innings (9.6) and baserunners per nine (10.7). Pimentel sits at 88-92 mph with a riding four-seam fastball. An easy arm action helps him disguise an average changeup, though his breaking ball is more cutter than slider.
|Scott Podsednik, lf
Age: 34. Bats: L. Remaining Commitment: Remainder of $1.75 million salary.
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.