Originally created 05/12/02

Augusta's Greene awaits word from Los Angeles

One way or another, Augusta native Todd Greene will be on the move again Wednesday.

Destination: Chavez Ravine or TBA.

When Greene signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in early April, included in his contract was a clause declaring him a free agent if the Dodgers do not call him up by May 15.

Greene is auditioning at Triple-A Las Vegas, and he is giving the Dodgers plenty of reason to give him a serious look.

He is seventh in the Pacific Coast League with a .339 average; is third in home runs (10) and leads the league with 35 RBI. He was named the PCL's player of the week Tuesday.

While catcher Paul Lo Duca is entrenched in the Los Angeles lineup, it is unclear whether the Dodgers would move backup Chad Kreuter to give Greene a shot.

Kreuter, 37, has appeared in just 11 games this season, batting .125 in 24 at-bats.

If the Dodgers don't summon the veteran catcher by Wednesday, Greene no doubt will land on his feet once again.

"He has the ability to play there and hit there and everything else," Las Vegas manager Brad Mills told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I'd just hate to see it come May 15, and if they don't do anything, he'd just walk away and try to go someplace else."

The former Evans High and Georgia Southern star, who celebrated his 31st birthday Wednesday, earned a spot on the Yankees' opening-day roster after having what he called "the best spring training of my career."

He went 11-for-25 with four home runs in spring training, and the Yankees pitching staff told manager Joe Torre they wanted Greene to be the backup catcher to Jorge Posada.

None of that mattered. He was released by the Yankees, who elected to keep Alberto Castillo as the backup.

"This year, I feel better than I did last year," Greene said in the Las Vegas Sun. "It's important I stay healthy to get rid of the label I can't catch every day. I'm just getting frustrated with that label thing."

JACKETS BUZZ: Reliever Kevin Huang was placed on the seven-day disabled list Thursday with a sore right elbow. The Red Sox filled the spot on the Augusta staff with Korean right-hander Byung Mok Yoo, who was with high-A Sarasota. ... Red Sox assistant general manager Theo Epstein and consultant Doug Melvin have been in town to evaluate the Jackets the past few days. Melvin, the former Texas Rangers general manager, was hired by the Red Sox's new owners in March to evaluate the club's struggling farm system and make recommendations for improving it. He is believed to be a candidate to become the club's new GM.

SALLY SHORTS: Led by one of the best 1-2 punches in the league in starting pitchers Manny Santillan and Ernnie Sinclair, the Lexington Legends' 11-game winning streak was snapped Friday with a 4-1 loss to Delmarva. After a slow start, the defending SAL champs have risen to the top of the league with a 24-11 record. The Legends are technically the Astros' high-A team. Houston has two farm teams in low-A leagues - SAL and the Midwest League - while every other team in baseball has one low-A and one high-A affiliate. Santillan leads the SAL with five wins and a 0.57 ERA, while Sinclair is ninth in the SAL with a 2.10 ERA, and has struck out 31 batters and walked only seven in 30 innings this season. ... After two seasons as a reliever in the Yankees farm system, Greensboro left-hander John Blankenship is making the most of the opportunity to start. While his 4.32 ERA isn't impressive, he has at times been overpowering, and his 52 strikeouts leads the league and is tied for second in all of minor-league baseball. ... Lakewood right-hander Seung Lee went 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA in April and was named the Phillies minor-league pitcher of the month. The Korean left-hander struck out 28 batters in 27 innings.

Reach Rob Mueller at (706) 823-3425.


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