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DODGER REPORT

Playing It Safe, Brown Goes on Disabled List

April 21, 2002|Gary Klein

Dodger pitcher Kevin Brown, who missed a start after re-injuring his surgically repaired right elbow April 13, was placed on the disabled list Saturday and will miss at least one more turn.

The Dodgers recalled reliever Guillermo Mota from triple-A Las Vegas to take Brown's roster spot and Omar Daal will continue to start in Brown's place.

Brown missed Thursday's start against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium and was scheduled to pitch at Pittsburgh on Wednesday in the second game of a six-game trip. But there is still swelling in the area where Brown tore scar tissue in his last start against the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Stadium.

Brown has been playing catch on flat ground since he was injured. He threw off a mound for the first time Saturday, making 33 pitches. But the Dodgers, who have received outstanding performances from their starting pitchers since Brown's injury, put him on the disabled list even before that workout.

"I didn't want to roll the dice any longer," General Manager Dan Evans said. "All it took was one game for a starter to go short, and then we'd make a panic call. I thought Lady Luck had been real good to us for six games."

This is Brown's fifth trip to the disabled list since signing a $105-million free-agent contract with the Dodgers on Dec 12, 1998. He said he thought he was capable of pitching at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, but he accepted the club's decision.

"I feel like I can throw, but it's not something I can put in a guarantee, and with that being the case it's not worth risking the health of the pitching staff," Brown said.

Brown is eligible to be activated April 29, an off day before his next turn in the rotation against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium.

Manager Jim Tracy said adding Mota to the staff will enable him to continue using his bullpen in a way that has allowed closer Eric Gagne to get seven saves. Tracy said he expects Brown to be ready to pitch against the Reds on April 30.

"Is that a guarantee? Is that etched in stone? No, it's not," Tracy said. "We'll see how he's doing. We'll see how his elbow responds from session to session as they build his workload back up."

Outfielder Brian Jordan said putting Brown on the disabled list will allow the ultracompetitive pitcher to come back stronger.

"He's willing to throw even when he's pain, but I don't want to see him set himself back," Jordan said. "We have some people who can fill in for this team. We need him to be 100%."

TODAY

DODGERS'

ANDY ASHBY

(1-1, 4.24 ERA)

vs.

PADRES'

BRETT TOMKO

(0-1, 1.93 ERA)

Dodger Stadium, 1 p.m.

TV--Channel 13. Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

Update--This is the final game of the four-game home stand before the Dodgers leave for a six-game trip to Pittsburgh and Chicago. Ashby gave up six runs and nine hits in five-plus innings in a 6-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 16. Tomko gave up three runs and seven hits in 5-1 loss to San Francisco on April 16.

Tickets--(323) 224-1448.

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