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DODGERS NOTEBOOK: DEPODESTA'S DEALING IS DONE.

Byline: Tony Jackson Staff Writer

CHICAGO - Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta said Friday he doesn't anticipate making any more trades this season - despite the fact Brad Penny, the front-line starter he acquired at the non-waiver trading deadline, is injured, and Darren Dreifort has struggled since moving into the setup role after Guillermo Mota was traded to Florida for Penny.

``Going into (the period after the non-waiver deadline), I didn't really feel there would be a lot of activity on our part, and I still feel that way,'' DePodesta said. ``There's a good chance that this is it. Part of it depends on Hideo Nomo and Edwin Jackson getting healthy, but I really feel good about where we expect to be by Sept. 1.''

Nomo (right rotator cuff inflammation) and Jackson (strained right forearm) are expected to begin minor-league rehabilitation assignments early next week. Assuming those assignments go well, they will return to the active major-league roster in the next two or three weeks.

Meanwhile, with Kazuhisa Ishii scheduled to take Penny's spot in the rotation today, Penny still has an outside shot at making his next scheduled start Thursday night at home against Atlanta.

If Penny, Nomo and Jackson all return soon to what already is a formidable rotation, the Dodgers will be set up well for the remainder of the regular season and, assuming they can hold onto their sizable lead in the National League West, the playoffs.

While Penny remains on the active roster, don't expect Nomo or Jackson to come off the 15-day disabled list before Sept. 1, when the roster expands from 25 players to a maximum of 40.

The Dodgers don't have much roster flexibility because so few players have minor-league options left. Reliever Yhency Brazoban is one of the only players who does have options, but he has been impressive since being called up July 31 from Triple-A Las Vegas and likely will spend the rest of the season in the big leagues.

``That's the plan,'' DePodesta said. ``I think he has pitched well enough to warrant that.''

DePodesta said he doesn't plan to go crazy with call-ups when rosters expand.

``There will be some,'' he said. ``But we won't have more than 35 guys, and we want to make sure the guys we do bring up will have some sort of role and actually contribute to the club.''

Possible September call-ups are outfielder Chin-Feng Chen, who has had major-league stints this season; infielders Antonio Perez and Joe Thurston; and outfielders Cody Ross and Henri Stanley. The Dodgers have only 37 players on their 40-man roster anyway, and one of them is pitcher Paul Shuey, out for the season after undergoing hip surgery.

--Penny update: Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said that in order for Penny to start Thursday, he has to be ready to throw a side session no later than Tuesday and preferably Monday.

Considering Penny hasn't so much as played catch since leaving in the first inning of Sunday's game with a strained right biceps, that in itself is a tall order.

The good news is that Penny appears to be improving.

``According to (physical therapist) Pat (Screnar), this was his best day with some of the rehab work he has been doing,'' Tracy said Friday morning. ``What that correlates to as far as having him back out there throwing, we don't know when that will be or where it will be.''

Penny's next scheduled start after Thursday would be Aug. 24 at Montreal. But with the Dodgers in the midst of a 20-game stretch without an off-day, Penny could be slotted anywhere in the rotation once he is ready to return.

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DODGERS at CHICAGO CUBS

- Tony Jackson
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 14, 2004
Words:620
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