Podsednik takes starting role in stride

Podsednik takes starting role in stride

DENVER -- When the Dodgers acquired Scott Podsednik from Kansas City for a pair of Minor Leaguers, it was believed as a stopgap for left field until Manny Ramirez returned from injury.

Now it looks like Podsednik is in the process of taking the job from Ramirez outright, having started four consecutive games through Sunday with Ramirez having been claimed off waivers and possibly headed to the White Sox by Tuesday.

"I wasn't thinking that far in advance," Podsednik said. "At the time of the trade, I just know so many things can take place, it would be foolish to try to predict what could happen."

Podsednik is hitting .291 with 14 runs scored and five stolen bases since his arrival, doing double duty as the leadoff hitter with Rafael Furcal also disabled with a bad back. He's a free agent after this season who just might be working his way into next year's plans as much for his leadoff skills as his outfield play.

Manager Joe Torre has praised the energy Podsednik has brought to the lineup. He hasn't spelled it out as succinctly, but the Dodgers' outfield defense is dramatically better with Podsednik than with Ramirez.

"I've been around long enough not to try to read into moves here and there," he said. "I don't try to figure out what will happen. I prepare to play and don't waste my time or energy figuring out who's playing."