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DODGERS NOTEBOOK: FETTERS PUT ON DL, MASAOKA CALLED UP.

Byline: Brian Dohn Staff Writer

PHOENIX - With a crying need for a lefty in the bullpen and the uncertain health of reliever Mike Fetters, the Dodgers placed the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list and recalled left-hander Onan Masaoka after Tuesday's game with Arizona.

Fetters hasn't pitched since last Wednesday because of inflammation in his pitching elbow, and while the Dodgers wanted to wait and see if it would decrease enough to allow him to pitch, they could wait no longer. The move is retroactive to Thursday, making Fetters eligible to pitch May 20 in Florida.

The move was hastened by Monday's 15-7 slaughtering by Arizona, in which Dodgers manager Davey Johnson was forced to go to right-hander Matt Herges in relief of Chan Ho Park, even though the Diamondbacks had seven lefties in their starting lineup. Herges gave up seven runs in 1 2/3 innings.

``I'm not saying any left-hander would do, but it's still matchups,'' Johnson said. ``That was the perfect ballgame for Masaoka.''

An MRI on Fetters' elbow Friday was negative, but the Dodgers don't want to chance further injury. He had a cortizone shot Sunday.

With Fetters' injury, the Dodgers lose their most effective pitcher against left-handers. He allowed one hit in 16 at-bats against lefties.

``Frustrated, disappointed,'' Fetters said in describing his emotions. ``It's not fair to my teammates and or Davey Johnson to play short every night. . . . But say it feels great in two days, then I spend six or seven days on the disabled list when I could be pitching. That's frustrating.''

Masaoka was effective against lefties last season, and they were 1 for 8 against him before he was sent to Triple-A Albuquerque on April 14. He was 0-0 with a 7.50 ERA with the Dodgers, and then struggled with his control in Albuquerque. In 20 2/3 innings, Masaoka walked 25 batters.

Since spring training, the Dodgers have been searching for a lefty to put in the bullpen but have been unable to fill the void. Oakland recently designated lefty reliever Ron Mahay for assignment, and the A's have 10 days to trade him. The Dodgers had limited interest in Mahay, who was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA.

Left-handers hit .222 (4 for 18) off Mahay this season, and .216 (25 for 116) in his career. But the Dodgers don't believe he's the right fit for what they need, sources said. Instead, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Detroit are more likely suitors, sources said.

--Odds and ends: Right-handed reliever Gregg Olson was set to return to Los Angeles today to have more tests done on his injured right forearm. Olson is on the 15-day disabled list with a pinched nerve in his forearm, and it gave him trouble during a rehab appearance Friday with Single-A San Bernardino. . . . Even though Mets outfielder Rickey Henderson was reportedly placed on waivers and is available and would fill the Dodgers' need of a leadoff hitter, the club has only a passing interest in him because he's perceived as a clubhouse cancer. Plus, the Dodgers are locked in with Gary Sheffield in left field and Shawn Green in right.

DODGERS vs. ARIZONA

Time: 7:05 p.m., at Bank One Ballpark.

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Net 2; 1150-AM, KWKW-AM (1330 Spanish).

Matchup: In one of those marquee pitching matchups that come along only a few times in a season, Dodgers right-hander Kevin Brown (2-1, 2.45 ERA) faces Arizona lefty Randy Johnson (7-0, 0.93). The two met opening day 1999, but neither was around for the decision. This season, no pitcher has been more dominant than Johnson. He's allowed six earned runs in starts, has 75 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings and opponents are batting .156 against him. Brown, who missed two weeks with a broken right pinkie, is 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA in six career starts against Arizona.

- Brian Dohn

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Box: Dodgers vs. Arizona (see text)
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 10, 2000
Words:658
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