Weaver called up by Dodgers

Updated: April 30, 2009, 10:32 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Jeff Weaver is back in the big leagues.

The Los Angeles Dodgers purchased the contract of the right-hander from Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday after he spent 2008 in the minor leagues.

The Dodgers also optioned infielder Blake DeWitt to their Pacific Coast League club and activated right-hander Cory Wade from the 15-day disabled list.

Weaver, earned a World Series ring in 2006 with St. Louis after winning the Game 5 clincher against Detroit -- the team he began his big league career with in 1999. He pitched in the minors for Milwaukee and Cleveland in 2008 after going 7-13 with a 6.20 ERA in 27 starts for Seattle. He signed a minor league contract with Los Angeles on Feb. 9.

This is Weaver's second stint with the Dodgers. The Northridge, Calif., native pitched for them during the 2004 and 2005 seasons, going 27-24 with a 4.11 ERA in 68 starts.

"Those were two of my most fulfilling and satisfying seasons -- being in the rotation throughout the whole season in '04 and helping a team get to the postseason that hadn't been there for a while," Weaver said. "I'm just happy to be back with the Dodgers, and I'm excited. I'm very comfortable with this team.

Weaver will be reunited with Joe Torre, his manager with the New York Yankees in 2002 and 2003.

"I'm happy to have him back because, in my mind, he certainly pitched well enough in the spring to be considered for a spot on our squad," Torre said. "He knows how to pitch. And I think with the knowledge and the ability of having been a starter, you can being him out of the bullpen and not worry about the lefty-righty matchup as much."

Now in his 10th big league campaign, the 32-year-old Weaver will be the long man in the bullpen. He was Torre's final cut at the end of spring training, and was demoted to Albuquerque due to the sudden emergence of rookie Roland Belisario.

"If it wasn't for Belisario and his live sinker, Weaver probably would have been on this club already," Torre said. "He didn't take it well when we sent him down, but he went.

"At the time, he asked a very legitimate question: `What else do I have to do?' And I didn't have a good answer, other than the fact that we wanted to stretch him out a little bit, start some games down there and extend his pitch count," Torre added.

To make room for Weaver on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the 15- to the 60-day DL. Mientkiewicz has been sidelined since April 17 because of a dislocated right shoulder.

Wade had been on the DL retroactive to April 12 because of bursitis in his shoulder. Lefty Scott Elbert was optioned to Albuquerque after Wednesday night's 9-4 loss at San Francisco to make room. The Dodgers currently have 13 pitchers on their 15-man roster.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press