Doctors plan to conduct a test next week to see if nerve damage might be responsible for weakness in the right shoulder of closer Jeff Shaw.
After Angel closer Troy Percival experienced similar weakness in 1997, an EMG test revealed nerve damage to his shoulder. Percival did not require surgery, but he was sidelined six weeks for rest and strengthening exercises.
Dodger trainer Stan Johnston said the test was not scheduled immediately because nerve damage, if any, must develop before it can be detected by the test.
Shaw is 2-3 with a 7.84 earned-run average. He was removed him from the closer role after Tuesday's loss to the New York Mets, in which he faced three batters, retired none and suffered his fifth blown save in 16 chances.
Dr. Frank Jobe subsequently diagnosed the weakness in his shoulder and told him not to pitch for five or six days. Jobe also prescribed strengthening exercises.
"There's no sharp pain. There's a dull ache, more like a toothache than anything else," Shaw said. "It doesn't feel like the ball is exploding out of my hand."
Shaw never has been on the disabled list in his nine-year major league career. But, with $11 million committed to him this season and next, why didn't the Dodgers protect their investment by immediately placing Shaw on the disabled list, mandating 15 days of rest and rehabilitation for his pitching shoulder?
Simply put, Jobe told Shaw and the team that the problem might resolve itself with those few days off.
"We don't think it's that serious," General Manager Kevin Malone said. "We don't want to lose him for 15 days when it could be rectified in four or five days. Then we've wasted 10 days we could have used him."
Dodger pitching coach Claude Osteen, who complained of abdominal pain shortly after arriving at Edison Field, was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange. Tests there revealed a kidney stone, and Osteen was hospitalized overnight.
Doctors hoped Osteen would pass the stone overnight. He could be released today, Johnson said.
Outfielder Geronimo Berroa, who fouled a ball off his left foot Tuesday, could be headed to the disabled list after tests showed a deep bone bruise. . . . Paul LoDuca, also recalled Wednesday from Albuquerque, started Friday. Johnson said Chad Kreuter, who figures to get the bulk of playing time during Todd Hundley's injury, would catch today. . . . Kevin Brown, knocked out of Wednesday's game after a line drive hit him in the shin, played catch Friday and is expected to start as scheduled Monday at Texas. . . . Johnson said pitcher Gregg Olson, on the disabled list since April 11 because of a strained forearm, could begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment this weekend.