CINCINNATI -- The news went from bad to worse for the Dodgers on Tuesday, as they put Brad Penny on the 15-day disabled list and sent Hiroki Kuroda to Los Angeles to undergo a shoulder examination similar to the one Penny had a day earlier.
Penny, who has inflammation and mild tendinitis but no structural damage in his right (throwing) shoulder, was replaced on the active roster by left-hander Eric Stults, who was recalled from triple-A Las Vegas.
Kuroda will have an MRI exam this morning, making him unavailable to make his scheduled start tonight in Cincinnati. If Kuroda is cleared by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache to resume pitching immediately, he will start at Dodger Stadium on Saturday when the Dodgers play host to Cleveland, Manager Joe Torre said.
Taking Kuroda's place will be Derek Lowe, who, because of the Dodgers' off day Monday, will pitch on regular four days' rest. Stults will start on Thursday, followed by Clayton Kershaw on Friday.
Kuroda, who is 3-6 with a 4.04 earned-run average, didn't seem particularly concerned about his right shoulder, which he said first tightened while pitching on a cold night in Chicago on May 27.
"I was able to throw in the bullpen and in games, and even this time, I could have pitched if I had to," he said.
Torre said he wasn't as worried about Kuroda as he was about Penny when he sent him home from Detroit on Sunday.
Kuroda pitched three times after that game in Chicago, once brilliantly and twice horribly.
He gave up six runs in 2 2/3 innings in New York, pitched the Dodgers' first complete-game shutout in three seasons at Dodger Stadium against the Cubs, and was pounded for six runs in 2 1/3 innings in San Diego.
Torre said Kuroda didn't say anything to him about his shoulder until Tuesday.
"I would've liked to have been told sooner only because I'm concerned about the health and welfare of the pitcher," Torre said. "But, again, it's probably my fault. Communication isn't as easy as coming out here and saying, 'Hello,' to you guys. I probably should've been talking to him more. Maybe he would've been more at ease telling me that."
Torre said that what he found out about Penny's shoulder could explain his recent troubles. Winless in his last eight starts and the loser of seven consecutive decisions, Penny is 5-9 with a 5.88 ERA.
"The thing that probably tricked us all is that when you looked up there, his velocity numbers seem pretty consistent," Torre said.
"At times he looked really good. But his inconsistency matches up with the fact that he had this discomfort."