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Dodgers Plug Hole, Sign Loaiza

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In an attempt to shore up holes in their pitching staff, the Dodgers claimed right-hander Esteban Loaiza, 36, off waivers from the Oakland A's today.

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Loaiza's signing comes five days after the Dodgers signed 44-year-old left-hander David Wells.

While age isn't necessarily an impediment to success-Wells did win his first start, beating out a bunt in the process-such players are hired guns that provide temporary help.

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And I love it. In theory.

Not content to trade away the youngens-like Russell Martin, Chad Billingsly and James Loney-G.M. Ned Colletti is instead employing a method that helped the Dodgers get to the playoffs last year.

Marlon Anderson, a late season signee last year, swung a big bat for the Blue Crew down the stretch. He was released earlier this year.

Now, with the Dodgers just 4 1/2 out of the West lead and 3 1/2 out of the Wild Card, they are looking for Loaiza to step in and shoulder some of the pitching duties.

His, shoulder, though, might just be the problem.

Loaiza spent some of this season on the Disabled List, due to shoulder injuries. He made only two starts this year after missing the first 4 1/2 months of the season. He was activated on Aug. 22. I know the Dodgers need help, what with Schmidt and Wolf sidelined, a shaky Hendrickson and an unpredictable, albeit steadily improving Billingsly.

But, you have to wonder how much help this middling pitcher can provide, especially given the Dodgers luck recently with pitchers' shoulder problems.

After the jump some facts on the newest Dodger:

Born: December 31, 1971 in Tijuana, Mexico

Throws: Right

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Bats: Not much.

Loaiza's 13-year career has been a monument to mediocrity. His lifetime record is 124-108, going 11-9 last year for Oakland. However, he tripped over the All-Star stick in 2003, in which he went 21-9 for the Chicago White Sox, finishing second in that years' Cy Young voting. He followed up that masterful campaign going a combined 10-7 for the White Sox and Yankees before returning to his mild ways, pitching himself to a 12-10 record with the Nationals.

Fun facts: Loaiza was arrested in June last year after being pulled over by police who clocked his Ferrari doing 120 MPH. He then failed a sobriety test. He also has a son named Sage.