George Sherrill said he wants to remain a Dodger after this season.
"It's fun coming to the ballpark knowing you have a shot," said Sherrill, who had never reached the playoffs until he was shipped by the Baltimore Orioles to Los Angeles last year.
The former All-Star reliever has one more arbitration year remaining but is already making $4.5 million this year, meaning he would likely command a salary of more than $5 million if the Dodgers tender him a contract over the winter.
Sherrill, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, will have to earn his stay. The left-hander had an earned-run average of 7.36 in 22 appearances when he was sidelined on May 25 with a tight back.
Sherrill said he didn't want to make excuses for his poor form, but didn't discount the possibility that he was suffering the lingering effects of a heavy workload last season.
A change in roles — a closer in Baltimore, he became Jonathan Broxton's setup man — resulted in a change in the way he was used. He made 42 appearances in the first four months of the regular season with Baltimore; he made 30 over the last two with the Dodgers. (He had a 0.65 ERA with the Dodgers.)
He also made six appearances in the playoffs.
"I didn't really feel it," Sherrill said. "But it could be because I was on a winning team and it overshadowed that…. It was the shortest off-season I've had. It's not an excuse, but it could've led to not getting ready at the normal pace. Maybe there was extra fatigue."
Asked if he thought there was anything to Sherrill's theory, Manager Joe Torre said, "I guess that's for you guys to figure out."
Sherrill said that he feels rested and is ready to be used as much as Torre wants to use him. And he said that he recently discovered and corrected a glitch in his delivery with the help of minor league pitching coordinator Rafael Chaves, who worked with him when they were in the Seattle Mariners organization. He pointed to the two shutout innings he pitched in the final two games of his minor league rehabilitation assignment as evidence.
"It seems like everything's got that late life," he said.
Martin relieved by news
Russell Martin sighed and shook his head.
"My prayers were with her yesterday and she's OK today, so that's a good thing," Martin said.
He was talking about Janelle Briseno, the 3-year-old girl who was knocked unconscious by a line drive he hit in batting practice on Monday. Janelle underwent surgery on Tuesday at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles for a fractured skull. She is expected to make a full recovery and is expected to be released by the end of the week, according to a statement released by the hospital.
Martin, who was visibly shaken at the time of the accident, has offered to pay for Briseno's medical expenses, according to the Dodgers. He said he spoke to Briseno's father on Tuesday and wanted to meet her.
"I'm sure she's still a little bit shaken up," Martin said. "It's definitely tough for the whole family, but at least the good news is she's going to be OK."
Casey Blake, who missed the last five games because of a tight back, returned to the Dodgers' lineup.... Andre Ethier remained in third place among National League outfielders in the latest round of All-Star balloting…. Jon Link was optioned to triple-A Albuquerque to make room on the active roster for Sherrill.
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