- Tony Jackson, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The battle for the Dodgers' left-handed pinch-hitting spot was reduced to two players on Thursday after non-roster outfielder Brian Giles, a 15-year veteran and two-time All-Star, retired from baseball.
Giles was with the Padres last season but has not played since June 18. He came to Dodgers camp with doubts as to how the knee would respond, and said the day he reported he would know what he was capable of fairly quickly.
After several days of workouts last week, he said the knee wasn't responding as well as he had hoped.
"We went into this with our eyes open to what the challenges were going to be and how difficult it was going to be [for Giles]," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Thursday. "My only regret is that he won't have a chance to play here. Most of the last 14 years, I've watched him do damage to whatever team I was with at the time."
Giles appeared in two Cactus League games for Los Angeles this spring, both as a designated hitter, going 0-for-4 with a walk.
"The way it felt during the two-week period since I got here, the little bit of testing I did on it, it wasn't up to my expectations, the way I expect to compete and the things I need to do," Giles said. "I thought about it last night, talked about it with Ned and my agent. There are no regrets. Obviously, I want to play and feel that I can play but I'm physically not able to do what I expect myself to do."
After grounding into a force play in the sixth inning Wednesday against Arizona, Giles was lifted for a pinch hitter and jogged off the field, apparently his final act as a major league player.
Giles, a two-time All-Star, is a career .291 hitter with 287 home runs and 1,078 RBI
in 1,847 games.
His retirement leaves two other non-roster veterans, infielder Doug Mientkiewicz and outfielder Garret Anderson, to compete for the job. Anderson appears to be the favorite because he has started working out at first base and is healthy, while Mientkiewicz is limited in his throwing after dislocating his right shoulder last season.