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Dodgers stand-in closer Vicente Padilla has stiff forearm

The 'little pain' keeps him sidelined, and his return status is uncertain. Manager Don Mattingly says the plan is to essentially go with close-by committee until Padilla is back.

May 18, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • The Dodgers aren't exactly sure when closer Vicente Padilla will be ready to pitch again.
The Dodgers aren't exactly sure when closer Vicente Padilla will… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

With Jonathan Broxton already on the disabled list, the Dodgers went into their game Wednesday uncertain of the status of stand-in closer Vicente Padilla.

They knew Padilla couldn't pitch for a second consecutive day because of stiffness in his forearm, but not much beyond that.

Padilla, who underwent forearm surgery in spring training to release a nerve that was trapped in muscle, was examined by team physician Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday night. He was expected to receive a second opinion Wednesday.

Manager Don Mattingly said the Dodgers would essentially close by committee until Padilla returns.

Mattingly said the Dodgers would probably do what they did in their victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night — designate two relievers as his eighth- and ninth-inning pitchers and decide when to use them based on matchups.

Against the Brewers, the duties fell to Kenley Jansen and Matt Guerrier. Mattingly said he would probably use them again in that way on days they are available. He added that Mike MacDougal could also figure in the mix.

For his part, Padilla didn't seem particularly concerned.

His arm wrapped in ice, Padilla smiled and laughed as he sat in a recliner in the back of the clubhouse.

Padilla last pitched Friday, when he threw 32 pitches and failed to close out the game.

"It wasn't from the game," Padilla said. "I first felt it at home. It suddenly swelled up."

That was Monday night.

Padilla said he felt better Wednesday, but that he still had a "dolorcito" — a little pain.

The Dodgers initially weren't concerned because the discomfort was on the inside part of the forearm, as opposed to the outer part on which he had surgery. But Padilla started to experience stiffness on the outer part too.

"It's reasonable to think it's related, but different," trainer Stan Conte said.

Conte said the medical staff wasn't surprised.

"We anticipated throughout the year he was going to have discomfort now and then," he said.

Hawksworth throws off mound

Sidelined for the last week because of a strained right groin, Blake Hawksworth is expected to throw a bullpen session Thursday. He threw off a mound Wednesday without problems.

If Hawksworth doesn't suffer a setback, he is to start a rehabilitation assignment with class-A Rancho Cucamonga when the Dodgers begin a six-game trip Friday. He would be activated when the Dodgers open a six-game homestand May 27 against the Florida Marlins.

Infielders Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake are also close to returning from the disabled list.

Guerrier is giving

Guerrier, who makes his off-season home in Alabama, donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army's tornado relief fund.

"It's something I wanted to do for a while," Guerrier said. "The devastation all over, the damage we saw, was pretty amazing."

Guerrier said his home in Birmingham was unharmed but that his old neighborhood on the other side of town was hit by strong winds that knocked down trees.

Guerrier, who is in the first year of a three-year, $12-million contract, also donated $10,000 to the Dodgers Dream Foundation.

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