Scott Elbert looking for relief, in more ways than one

If it seems I’ve been publishing a lot about a pitcher who got two batters out with the Dodgers in all of 2010, it’s because I find Scott Elbert’s derailment one of the bigger stories of the year. But with his appearance in the Arizona Fall League, it was inevitable he’d start to shed some light on his situation, and both Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com and Ken Gurnick of MLB.com talked to him.

Here’s a Jackson excerpt:

… After (Tuesday’s) game, Elbert was asked about the reason for his absence this summer, when he was gone for about a month. He didn’t offer much in the way of clarification.

“It was just some personal issues I had to attend to,” he said. “I can tell you right now, it had nothing to do with baseball. It was just a lot of personal stuff I had to take care of, and that’s about it.” …

But he appears to have hit a sort of reset button on his career. He credited Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and assistant GM Logan White, who heads the scouting department and was responsible for drafting and signing Elbert, with being supportive during his ordeal.

Although Elbert’s first AFL appearance on Tuesday was a mixed bag when it came to the results, he said his shoulder felt strong.

“It was just nice to be back out there,” he said. “We have been on a consistent schedule with [Dodgers trainer] Stan [Conte] and the minor league physical therapist, and I have been going in every day and trying to get it right.”

Elbert said he is hoping to receive an invitation to big league spring training, which is automatic if he stays on the 40-man roster this winter. Although he was a starter at Albuquerque this year before his departure, all indications are that the Dodgers now view him as a reliever, and given the bullpen issues the team had this year, that could bode well for Elbert in his effort to secure a spot on the Opening Day roster.

“To be honest, I would like to be a reliever,” he said. “If that is going to be my job, then that is what I will prepare for. … I don’t ever think [starting] is out of the question, but I have always been known as a high pitch-count guy, and if I’m able to bring that down and go deeper into games, maybe I can be a starter again. Nothing is ever out of the question in this game.” …

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