Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Arcadia, California
Bikes: Lemond "Alpe d'Huez," several X-marts, and two Trek hybrids
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I faced a similar problem, but examine whether it is the dropout connector piece. My aluminum piece got bent slightly, so I bent it back in shape.
If it is really the RD mechanism that deformed, examine whether you can adjust the tension the cable (usually a finger-tightening extension - a piece of semi-ergonomic plastic - right where the cable meets the RD). Eyeball it with your left eye: The upper small gear should coincide exactly with the desired cog.
If it's impossible, replace.