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LA callups won't be new to big leagues

LA callups won't be new to the show

LOS ANGELES -- Partly because of injuries, but mainly because they are adept at manipulating a roster, the Dodgers have moved 44 players onto and off of the 25-man active list this season.

When the roster expands to a maximum of 40 on Tuesday, the Dodgers will begin a series of promotions from the Minor Leagues. But unlike many clubs that bring up unknowns, the Dodgers will be plucking from a large group of players they've already used in the Major Leagues.

Among the players the big club could add in the next week are pitchers Scott Elbert, Eric Stults, Cory Wade and Brent Leach; catcher A.J. Ellis; infielders Tony Abreu, Blake DeWitt, Chin-lung Hu; and outfielder Jamie Hoffmann. All but Hu played with the Dodgers this year, and he played with them last year.

There also are injured players the Dodgers hope can help. Utility man Doug Mientkiewicz, left-handed reliever Will Ohman and outfielder Xavier Paul also can be activated Tuesday. Mientkiewicz's left-handed bat off the bench, in particular, could fill a huge need. Ohman lost his spot to the acquisition of George Sherrill. Paul isn't yet ready.

Each of the three, however, is on the 60-day disabled list and do not count against the 40-man roster. So when they are activated, a corresponding player must be moved off the 40-man roster at the risk of losing that player to another club, making each decision difficult.

Of all the callups, Ellis is the most likely because manager Joe Torre has said he wants a third catcher to provide more flexibility. There are some in the organization who believe that Ellis could make a run at starter Russell Martin's job next spring.

Another interesting callup will be DeWitt, in part because this would be the sixth time he's made the team this year.

However, most recently, management has reached for Abreu when it needs an infielder and not DeWitt, because Abreu is now healthy and his bat has been much more potent this season than DeWitt's. One player who has pretty much fallen off the radar is outfielder Jason Repko, who has three years of Major League service but no big league time this year.

Torre said he'd prefer fewer callups than more.

"You need some players," he said. "Some teams that aren't in the race, you could probably bring up more players to take a look at. I think in our case or any team in a pennant race, you don't want to call up too many so that they sort of get in the way, unless you are going to use them. You don't want to get that clubhouse cluttered up where you really get lost in what you're trying to accomplish."

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

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