Notes: Former Phillies back in town
Wolf, Lieberthal return to old stomping grounds as Dodgers
PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Lieberthal and Randy Wolf, career-long Phillies until they signed with the Dodgers as free agents last winter, returned to their former city in different roles than when they left.
Lieberthal is the seldom-used caddy for All-Star catcher Russell Martin. Lieberthal has started only 12 of the Dodgers' 124 games this year and doesn't figure to start any of these three, even with a Thursday day game after a Wednesday night game.
"I'm hoping for a rainout tonight," said Lieberthal. "They'd have to play me with two on Thursday."
Lieberthal said he renewed acquaintances with a few former teammates and front-office officials after an early arrival at Citizens Bank Park. Manager Grady Little said Lieberthal would probably catch Sunday night's game in New York.
The disabled Wolf, meanwhile, spent part of his day at the office of Delaware shoulder specialist Dr. Craig Morgan, who concurred with Dodgers doctors that the disabled left-hander's shoulder has no structural damage but an impingement that should respond to therapy.
Wolf, who last pitched July 3, is pain-free and is hopeful of resuming throwing on Wednesday. Wolf was referred to Morgan through Phillies contacts.
"I feel way better," Wolf said. "This is just for my peace of mind, to be absolutely sure we're on the right path."
Wolf said he does not expect to start another game for the Dodgers this year, but is hopeful he can return in a relief role. Wolf has only four relief appearances in 212 games and none since 2001.
Ethier moves up: Andre Ethier, who has batted almost exclusively in the bottom part of the order this year, was inserted into the key No. 3 hole for Tuesday night's game with the Phillies. The only hitter in the lineup with a higher average than Ethier's .295 is James Loney at .307, but Ethier has 140 more at-bats.
"He's a much more mature kid," manager Grady Little said of Ethier, who tried to play through a shoulder injury in the second half of 2006, went into a tailspin and eventually was replaced by Marlon Anderson.
"Last year about this time, he really had a tough time," Little said. "It's something all players go through in their first year. I can't see that happening this year. He's grown up a lot."
Nueva estacion: KHJ/La Ranchera 930 AM will be the new Spanish-language broadcasting home of the Dodgers, the club announced Tuesday. The three-year contract will take effect at the beginning of the 2008 season and grants KHJ exclusive Spanish-language radio broadcast rights. In addition to broadcasting all 162 regular-season games, the top-rated AM station in Los Angeles will carry eight Spring Training games, including the annual Freeway Series and provide pregame and postgame coverage during all regular season contests.
KHJ/La Ranchera's signal covers all five counties in Los Angeles and is the home of legendary on-air personalities Humberto Luna and Jaime Piña. Joining those names will be Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrín, who will be entering his 50th season in the broadcast booth for the Dodgers, and Pepe Yñiguez, who will be entering his 10th season behind the microphone for Los Angeles. Former Dodger All-Star pitcher Fernando Valenzuela provides analysis alongside Jarrín and Yñiguez for more than 100 games each season.
"This is a very exciting time for the Dodgers and our fans," said Jarrín. "With a stronger signal and all of the stations in the Liberman media group, we are able to reach so many more Spanish-speaking fans and better serve our audience. We have enjoyed our many years with KWKW, but we have also worked with Jose Liberman before and we know this will be the renewal of a wonderful relationship."
KHJ/La Ranchera becomes the fourth Spanish-language radio home of the Dodgers since the team moved to Los Angeles. The Dodgers became the first team in Major League history to have a bilingual broadcast when its games were aired on KWKW 1330, which retained Spanish-language broadcast rights until 1972 and again from 1987 through this season. From 1973-78, games were aired on XEGM and from 1979-86, the games were on KTNQ 1020.
Minor League update: Third-base prospect Andy LaRoche, nursing a back disk problem, has missed two weeks of games at Triple-A Las Vegas, but is expected to return to action this week.
Coming up: Derek Lowe (9-11, 3.45 ERA) opposes Cole Hamels (14-5, 3.50 ERA) on Wednesday at 4:05 p.m. PT.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.