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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

It May Go From Bad to Worse for Martinez

June 24, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

Dodger righthander Ramon Martinez, suffering from a small tear in the rotator cuff on his throwing shoulder, could be back in two weeks, or he could be lost for the season.

That's a pretty wide range, but team physician Frank Jobe says he can't narrow it down at this point, although he did say there is "a good chance" that Martinez can avoid surgery.

Martinez was placed on the disabled list Monday by the Dodgers, retroactive to June 15.

He has not thrown a baseball for five days and will refrain from picking up a ball for another five days while undergoing therapy.

At that point, Martinez will test the arm, enabling Jobe to make a more definitive diagnosis.

There are, according to Jobe, three possibilities:

--Martinez responds to the rest and therapy and is back on the mound in two weeks, after the All-Star break.

--Martinez requires arthroscopic surgery to mend the tear and is sidelined a couple of months, returning for the stretch run.

--Martinez requires full surgery and won't be seen again on the mound until spring training.

The 10-year veteran, who had never been on the disabled list because of an arm problem, first felt pain in his shoulder after his last start, when he threw 100 pitches in four innings against the Seattle Mariners on June 14.

But Jobe said the injury was probably the result of long-term wear and tear, rather than from a specfic outing.

"That might have just been the straw that broke the camel's back," he said.

*

With Martinez sidelined, the Dodgers have purchased the contract of 30-year-old righthander Mike Harkey from their triple-A Albuquerque farm club. Harkey was 2-1 with a 2.37 earned-run average and eight saves in 31 appearances with the Dukes. . . . Harkey will wear No. 50 with the Dodgers. . . . To make room for Harkey on their 40-man roster, the Dodgers have designated catcher Ken Huckaby for assignment.

TONIGHT'S GAME

DODGERS' PEDRO ASTACIO (3-6, 3.80 ERA) vs. ROCKIES' DARREN HOLMES (2-1, 4.24 ERA)

At Dodger Stadium, 7 p.m.

TV--KTLA, Channel 5. Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330).

* Update: Astacio is mired in a six-game losing streak in which he has surrendered 28 runs in 49 2/3 innings for an ERA of 5.07. That ties the longest losing streak of his career, set last year. Astacio's last victory was a complete-game shutout of the Phillies in Philadelphia on May 1. Righthander Roger Bailey (8-5, 3.27 ERA) had been scheduled to start for Colorado, but he was scratched because of a injury to his left hamstring. The Dodgers would have liked to have taken their swings against Bailey. They certainly have in the past. He was 0-1 against them last season with a 9.90 ERA, and is 0-2 against them in his career with an ERA of 8.59. Holmes doesn't have a decision against the Dodgers, but he does have two saves along with a 5.90 ERA. This is the sixth game of a stretch in which the Dodgers play 11 games in a row and 20 of 24 against NL West opponents. It is also the eighth game of a string of 24 consecutive games in California.

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