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DODGER REPORT

So Far, All Signs Are Encouraging for Brown

April 15, 2002|Mike DiGiovanna

SAN DIEGO — Kevin Brown experienced mild stiffness but no pain Sunday in his surgically repaired elbow, which the Dodger right-hander reinjured in the second inning against the Padres on Saturday night. There was also no increase in swelling overnight, leading the Dodgers to believe Brown's latest setback is minor.

Brown could miss his next scheduled start Thursday, and there's a chance he could go on the disabled list, but after being examined again Sunday by Dr. Greg Schwab, a San Diego physician, there appears to be no structural damage to the ligaments or muscles in Brown's elbow.

"It's a little difficult to interpret after surgery, but there's nothing that looked real ugly, nothing that looked terrible," Schwab said. "I've been surprised before, but I don't think so [in this case]."

Brown, who underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor muscle last Sept. 27, will be examined today in Los Angeles by Dodger physicians Frank Jobe and Ralph Gambardella. He will also undergo an MRI test.

"It looks good so far, but we'll take it one day at a time," General Manager Dan Evans said. "It's encouraging when he doesn't have pain, and everything we believed [Saturday] night looks to be the same [Sunday]."

Trainer Stan Johnston said the burning sensation Brown felt in his elbow while delivering a 2-and-2 fastball to Tom Lampkin in the second inning Saturday night is consistent with the breakup or release of scar tissue.

If Brown misses his next start, he will be replaced in the rotation by left-hander Omar Daal. If he goes on the disabled list, Daal would remain in the rotation and the Dodgers would recall a reliever--probably Ricky Bones, Guillermo Mota or Kevin Beirne--to take Daal's bullpen spot.

*

Paul Quantrill has lost that sinking feeling on a few too many pitches, and as a result, the Dodger reliever has not been nearly as effective as he knows he can be.

Quantrill has given up seven earned runs and 11 hits in 31/3 innings of his last four games, sending his earned-run average to 9.45. A sinkerball and control specialist acquired in a winter trade, Quantrill went 11-2 with a 3.04 ERA in 80 games for Toronto last season.

"I'm not locked in by any stretch of the imagination," Quantrill said. "I'm a little out of whack and fighting myself. When I'm on, I minimize mistakes, and my pitches are fairly consistent with good sink. Right now, I'll throw several good ones and then one that flattens out."

Quantrill has hit some tough luck. Wednesday night in San Francisco, in the ninth inning of a 1-1 game, Quantrill pitched Giant slugger Barry Bonds about as tough as he can be pitched. But Bonds sliced a full-count inside pitch for an opposite-field fly ball that landed just inside the left-field line for a game-winning RBI double.

"That was probably the best sequence of pitches we threw to Bonds in the six games we played him," Manager Jim Tracy said. "That was the worst he looked in any at-bat against us."

ON DECK

Opponent--Colorado Rockies, three games.

Site--Coors Field, Denver.

Tonight--6 PDT.

TV--Fox Sports Net 2 tonight and Wednesday.

Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

Records--Dodgers 6-6, Rockies 4-9.

Record vs. Rockies--3-0.

TONIGHT

DODGERS'

ODALIS PEREZ

(0-1, 3.09 ERA)

vs.

ROCKIES'

SHAWN CHACON

(1-1, 8.10 ERA)

Update--Tracy is not about to give up on leadoff batter Dave Roberts, who is struggling with a .206 average, but with Marquis Grissom batting .429 with three doubles and five RBIs in only 14 at-bats, Tracy may try to get Grissom a little more playing time in center field. Perez has made two strong starts, giving up four runs and eight hits in 112/3 innings, but the Dodgers scored one run in his two games. The last time the Dodgers faced Chacon, on April 5, they pounded the right-hander for eight runs and five hits. Tuesday, 6 p.m.--Andy Ashby (1-0, 1.50) vs. Jason Jennings (0-1, 4.50).

Wednesday, noon--Kazuhisa Ishii (2-0, 0.00) vs. Mike Hampton (0-3, 10.26).

Mike DiGiovanna

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