Trayvon Robinson Enjoyed His Fall Trip





LOS ANGELES—Fall ball can be both a boom and a bane. Have a good season and maybe the front office will notice. But after a long, hard summer, continuing to play at a high level can be tough—which is why many players would just as soon take the offseason off.

Not Dodgers outfielder Trayvon Robinson, who considers his assignment with the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League to be a reward—one that follows a summer when he hit .300/.404/.438 in 434 at-bats at Double A Chattanooga.

"I'd rather be here," he said. "I think it's an honor. All these guys here are major league prospects."

So, of course, is Robinson. A 2005 10th-round pick out of Crenshaw High in Los Angeles, he has come on quickly in the last two seasons, which he split between high Class A and Double-A, hitting a combined .300 with 170 runs and 85 stolen bases. Robinson hopes that kind of production will earn him a long look for a job in the Dodgers outfield in spring training.

Which brings us to the other reason why Robinson considers his fall assignment to be a reward following a season that ended early with an oblique injury. In Arizona, Robinson has been playing for new Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who will have a big say in determining the 23-year-old's immediate future.

"It's more like, 'What can I bring to the table?' " Robinson said. "I talk to Donnie a lot. In between innings we talk about situations and stuff. I'm just trying to pick his head. I know what I have to offer to the game."

Mattingly must be happy with what Robinson has brought to the table so far this fall. He was hitting .262/.403/.361 with four stolen bases.

"I am an aggressive hitter. But at the same time I am learning patience," Robinson said. "I'm trying to show Donnie what I've got. I'm ready to play every day."

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

• Aside from its eight players in the AFL, the Dodgers expect to have as many as 39 others players in four Latin American winter leagues. Included among those is righthander Carlos Monasterios and highly touted infield prospect Russell Mitchell, who will play in the Venezuelan League.

• Monasterios and righthander Kenley Jansen, who were both rushed to the major leagues this season, spent part of October at the team's minor league complex in Arizona working with coach Ken Howell on fundamentals such as holding runners and pickoff throws.