Notes: Struggling staff's solution unclear

Notes: Struggling staff's solution unclear

SAN DIEGO -- General manager Ned Colletti said on Tuesday that he did not expect to immediately address the bullpen or starting rotation with a trade.

"In general, there's nobody available that intrigues me enough," said Colletti. "That's across the board."

For now, 36-year-old rookie Takashi Saito, who has allowed one earned run in his last 17 innings, has inherited the closer job from Danys Baez, who was acquired because of Eric Gagne's uncertain health. Gagne returned to the disabled list on Tuesday.

"He's earned the opportunity," Colletti said of Saito, a former star in Japan who started the season in the Minor Leagues.

Injury update: Colletti said catcher Dioner Navarro's rehab assignment for a bruised wrist could end in less than a week, but Colletti would not say whether Navarro would return to the Major League club or be optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas because of the impressive play of his replacement, Russell Martin.

Colletti also said Cesar Izturis' rehab assignment would end in about a week. When it does, according to Little, Izturis would return as a middle infielder, and not necessarily as a starter.

Little said trying Izturis at third base was not out of the question, but would require the player's support and some games at the spot during his rehab, which has not yet happened. He also said he has no intention of shuffling other established players (i.e., Jeff Kent, Rafael Furcal and Nomar Garciaparra) into unfamiliar defensive positions just to find a way to start Izturis.

"I don't foresee that happening," he said. "It would be foolish. If we were at the bottom of the league looking up, we might be more apt to think of those options."

Colletti said the decision on who plays where will be Little's to make.

"I haven't told Grady who to play, who to pitch, the batting order or the way the bullpen is organized," Colletti said. "We have a situation because of having good players. I'll take that over not having anybody to play or to call up."

All-Star update: Garciaparra and Kent continued as the leading Dodgers vote getters in All-Star balloting that was released on Monday.

Garciaparra remains fourth at first base, which is lead by Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals. Kent, who had been disabled for two weeks until being activated on Tuesday, slipped to fifth at second base, which is led by Philadelphia's Chase Utley.

No other Dodgers player ranks in the top five in voting at his position.

LaRoche homers in debut: Third-base prospect Andy LaRoche, promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, hit the first pitch he saw at the level for a home run on Monday night.

Minor League honors: Double-A Jacksonville reliever Casey Hoorelbeke and Class A Columbus outfielder Andrew Locke are the organization's Pitcher and Player of the Month.

Hoorelbeke pitched 19 innings of relief in May, allowing eight hits with 15 strikeouts and holding opposing batters to a .136 batting average. He earned four saves with a 0.00 ERA. On the year, he has 38 innings, a 0.24 ERA by allowing two runs (one earned), striking out 30 and holding the opposition to a .146 batting average while earning six saves in 27 appearances. He was a non-drafted free agent out of Lewis & Clark State (Idaho) in August 2003.

In 28 games in May, Locke batted .375 (42-for-112), with eight doubles, three triples, three home runs and 34 RBIs. He had a 15-game hitting streak from May 16-30 and was the South Atlantic League Player of the Week for May 22-28, when he hit .519 (14-for-27) with two homers, 10 runs and 10 RBIs. Locke, named to the 2006 Southern League South Division All-Star Team, was selected by the Dodgers in the 19th round of the June 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of Boston College.

Coming up: Penny (7-1, 2.34 ERA) opposes Padres right-hander Mike Thompson (2-2, 4.67) at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night at PETCO Park.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.