Mar 05

James Loney to have MRI on knee


Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesCarlos Monasterios and Jon Link get some work in before Friday’s game.

His left knee is aching. If he were an old man, we’d just assume rain was coming, but he’s a ballplayer, so instead James Loney will have an MRI performed, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

… manager Don Mattingly said he wasn’t overly concerned.Mattingly said Loney first began to feel it during stretching exercises before Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, then felt it again after playing four innings on Friday night against the San Francisco Giants.

“He feels it when he gets to a certain point in his stretching,” Mattingly said. “It seems like it [isn't serious], because he isn’t feeling any pain, and he played last night. But these guys know their bodies pretty good, and with the knee, we want to be a little careful. We just want to find out what it is.”

Team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache is expected to arrive at the Dodgers’ spring training facility sometime on Saturday, and Mattingly said he hoped ElAttrache would have a chance to examine Loney’s MRI results and render an opinion by the end of the day. …

* * *

  • Mike Piazza talked to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com about potentially becoming a baseball team owner someday.
  • From the Dodger press notes: “The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy birthday to right-handed pitcher Mike MacDougal, who turns 34 today. MacDougal shares his big day with former Dodgers Kevin Brown, Paul Konerko and Chad Fonville. A little known fact is that MacDougal’s given name is actually Robert Meiklejohn. Meiklejohn is his mother’s maiden name. Now you know. “

* * *

Reds at Dodgers, 12:05 p.m.
Rafael Furcal, SS
Casey Blake, 3B
Andre Ethier, RF
Matt Kemp, CF
Jay Gibbons, DH
Juan Uribe, 2B
Rod Barajas, C
Russ Mitchell, 1B
Gabe Kapler, LF
(Clayton Kershaw, P)

Feb 24

Padilla has surgery, could resume work in three weeks … or more

Vicente Padilla had his surgery today. From Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

… The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Steve Shin, who conveyed the results to Dodgers trainer Stan Conte at Camelback Ranch.

“Stan said it went well,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “[Padilla] is supposed to be back in Arizona sometime [on Friday], and he’ll start the rehab process. What I got was that his best outlook is three or four weeks, then he’ll start tossing.”

Because this type of surgery is so rare among pitchers, there are no plans for how long the rehabilitation will last. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Wednesday, the day before the surgery, that he had been given reason to believe Padilla would return sometime during the season’s first half. …

* * *

  • Kenley Jansen’s spot on the roster seems even more secure to me after this tweet from ESPN the Magazine’s Molly Knight from Camelback: “Mattingly says Jansen will work 7th inning typically, 8th when Kuo is unavailable and could close if Broxton has gone three days in a row.”
  • My favorite tidbit from Ken Gurnick’s roundup of Dodger non-roster invitees at MLB.com is on Ramon Colon: “This is his 15th professional season and he had a great Spring Training last year to make the Royals Opening Day roster, but after a month he was released and wound up pitching in Korea. He signed with the Dodgers because they became his favorite team when they signed his older brother, Daniel, in 1989.”
  • More details on the pitching plan on Saturday from the Dodger press notes: “In Scottsdale, Dodger right-handed hurler Tim Redding will get the start and is scheduled to be followed by RHP Carlos Monasterios, RHP Oscar Villarreal, RHP Jon Huber and LHP Wilkin De La Rosa. Over in Tempe, RHP Hiroki Kuroda will make his first start of the spring and is scheduled to be followed by RHP Rubby De La Rosa, LHP Scott Elbert, RHP Lance Cormier, RHP Roman Colon and RHP Luis Vasquez.”
  • Also from the press notes: “A contingent of Dodger employees will take on a group of White Sox employees looking to avenge their loss in the 1959 World Series in a “friendly” softball game on Field 1. The skirmish will take place at 6 p.m. and admission is free.”
  • Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven passes along this photo of Walter O’Malley in Cuba in 1959. Cutline: “Officials and players of the Reds and Dodgers received a warm welcome from Fidel Castro’s forces when they played two games at Havana, March 20-21. In front row, left is Gabe Paul, general manager of the Reds. In the second row, standing, are Bud Holman (with beret), a Dodger director, and Walter O’Malley (wearing deputy sheriff’s badge), Dodger prexy.”
  • Happy birthday, Nancy Bea Hefley …

* * *

Update: The Dodgers “plan to add one more Cactus League game to their schedule to be played sometime in late March in Tucson, Ariz., to benefit the Christina Taylor Green Memorial Fund,” according to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Feb 23

Vicente Padilla to have surgery


Ric Tapia/Icon SMIVicente Padilla had a 4.07 ERA in 95 innings for the Dodgers in 2010.

Vicente Padilla will have surgery Thursday, the Dodgers said, with a timetable for his return to be determined afterward. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has more.

Padilla was examined in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and according to the Dodgers, “it was determined that the right radial nerve was being entrapped by one of the deep muscles in the forearm.” The goal of the surgery is to “release the muscle and free up the nerve.”

It could be worse. St. Louis is facing the loss of Adam Wainwright for a considerable length of time, ESPN.com reports.

Feb 22

Vicente Padilla to have MRI

Vicente Padilla’s pitching elbow is ailing, the Dodgers said today. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.

Dodgers vice president of communications Josh Rawitch said that Padilla “was experiencing pain in his right elbow similar to what he felt last year.” He was examined by Dr. Neil ElAttrache in Arizona on Monday, after which it was decided Padilla would fly back to Los Angeles today for an MRI. Results of that test are expected Wednesday.

The start of the season is still five weeks away, but a longterm Padilla injury would probably cement Blake Hawksworth’s spot on the club and, combined with Ronald Belisario’s absence, further increase the odds for Ron Mahay, Lance Cormier, Ramon Troncoso or Scott Elbert.

Feb 04

Feel-good Friday

Health is this morning’s lead topic …

  • Injury prevention continues to offer potential as the next Moneyball (i.e., exploiting the undervalued) frontier. Will Carroll writes about the topic for SI.com (link via new SB Nation national baseball editor Rob Neyer, who has his own comment).
  • Neyer also links to Corey Hawkins’ new Baseball Injury Tool, a website that I suspect a lot of us will soon find indispensable.
  • Jim McLennan of AZ Snakepit studies the importance of starting pitching depth, noting among other things that even the most stable rotation in the National League, San Francisco’s, needed 19 starts outside of its main five pitchers.
  • Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News has completed his massive project, “The Tao of Vin Scully”: 21 sportscasters discussing what makes the Dodger legend great.
  • Before we leave the Daily News, I have to pass along Kevin Modesti’s “Where Are They Now” story on “Family Affair” boy Johnny Whitaker.
  • The ups and downs of James Loney’s professional career, dating back to draft day in 2002 (goodness), are reviewed by John Sickels at Minor League Ball.
  • David Young and I have had All-Something fever lately.  His latest at True Blue L.A.: The Los Angeles Dodgers All-Short Stuff Team.
  • Here’s a retrospective of the Dodgers’ Burt Shotton era, courtesy of Steven Booth and the Hardball Times.
  • The inimitable player/author/speaker Dirk Hayhurst offers his “Ten Commandments of Social Networking as a professional athlete” (via David Pinto’s Baseball Musings).
  • Baseball co-blogger David Newhan is lacin’ ‘em up again, signing a minor-league deal with the San Diego Padres.
  • If I could have had just half of Dee Gordon’s Thursday, I’d have been happy: “I swear I just had the best nap ever! My body is feeling it from these intense workouts!”
  • Update: Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com looks at the Dodger infield heading into the coming season.
Sep 25

John Lindsey’s season comes to sudden end

A bone in John Lindsey’s left hand was broken by a Daniel Hudson pitch in the seventh inning of tonight’s 5-2 Dodger loss to Arizona, ending his year. (MLB.com has video). Goodness, what a ride for Lindsey. My sense is that we won’t see him in a Dodger uniform next season, except maybe in Spring Training, but he will remain one of the best memories of the 2010 season. It was a pleasure, John.

Sep 11

Vicente Padilla’s season might be over

Vicente Padilla has perhaps already made his final start as a Dodger. He was scratched today from his Sunday start with a recurrence of the bulging disc in his neck, and Joe Torre told reporters that he didn’t expect Padilla to return soon – and the season doesn’t have much more than soon left.

Padilla has pitched 95 innings for the Dodgers this year, 54 2/3 of them in an eight-start stretch in which he had a 1.32 ERA. The rest of his 2010 Dodger season has consisted of 40 1/3 innings with 35 earned runs allowed (7.81 ERA).

More from Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Aug 19

It never ends: Vicente Padilla heads to disabled list


Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesAfter allowing eight earned runs in eight starts from June 25-August 4, Vicente Padilla allowed 12 in his past two outings.

Perhaps the next time Vicente Padilla slumps, we should just assume he’s hurt.

Padilla got off to a poor start this season, and it turned out he needed to go on the disabled list.

Then he came back, and got red-hot for a while.

Then he slumped, and it turns out he needed to go on the disabled list — with a bulging disc in his neck, as Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports …

Both (Joe) Torre and Dodgers director of medical services Stan Conte said the injury is nothing they didn’t know about, but that Padilla wanted to try to pitch through it. Torre admitted that the injury was a major factor in Padilla’s ineffectiveness in those two starts, when he gave up 12 runs on 14 hits over 9 1/3 innings.

Carlos Monasterios, who pitched 5 1/3 innings this month, most recently facing eight batters Sunday, is now a potential starter in Padilla’s place Friday, and Travis Schlichting is coming back from Albuquerque.

* * *

  • If the Dodgers had released this draft-day video two months ago showing how badly Logan White wanted Zach Lee, no one would have thought for a moment that they had punted the pick. (Link via Blue Heaven.)
  • Vin Scully learned (kinda) what a mullet is, and Wezen-ball has the amusing transcript.
  • Josh Fisher of Dodger Divorce looks at today’s McCourt news.
  • Pedro Feliz and his .555 OPS with Houston got traded to the St. Louis Cardinals today for Single-A pitcher David Carpenter, who has good stats but is already 25. In case you want to compare trade value, Casey Blake, who turns 37 on Monday,  has better numbers (.722 OPS) than the 35-year-old Feliz but is owed a bunch more money. Not that Blake appears to be going anywhere …
  • Lou Gehrig finished a triple short of the cycle 42 times, writes Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk.
  • Hey, Manny Mota’s under there! (Another one from Blue Heaven.)
Aug 17

Kershaw LXXVI: Kershawnna Karenina

Manny Ramirez is alive! He took batting practice at Dodger Stadium tonight and is close to a rehab assignment. Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.

Rafael Furcal felt tightness and will be held back from starting a rehab assignment for at least a couple more days.

* * *

Question: Are the Rockies more disappointing than the Dodgers this season, less or the same?

Related: Bob Timmermann explores “The Dodgers in 2010: The Year of Crabbiness” at L.A. Observed’s Native Intelligence.

* * *

Elsewhere …

  • Zach Lee is expected to make an appearance at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, the team said.
  • Lou Gehrig might not have had Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), reports Alan Schwarz in a fascinating New York Times article.
  • Josh Wilker has a fine piece about Mickey Rivers today at Cardboard Gods.
  • Remember Brent Mayne, he of the last Dodger catching tandem that couldn’t hit straight before this one? Mayne has a blog and an interesting post about ballplayers as social misfits. (via Hardball Talk).
  • If it’s an upset that the Padres are in first place and the Dodgers are in fourth, it’s another upset that the Dodgers had a more satisfying 2010 draft than the Padres did. Paul DePodesta tells the story of what happened to leave San Diego’s front office disappointed at It Might Be Dangerous … You Go First.
  • Claudio Vargas has been granted his release by Albuquerque, the Isotopes said.
  • Former Dodger prospect Andrew Lambo has had his second setback of 2010 — a shoulder injury, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Sweet-hitting pitcher Micah Owings, whose career ERA and slugging percentage each start with the number five, has been designated for assignment by Cincinnati.
Aug 04

Russell Martin has torn labrum in right hip

The Dodgers placed Russell Martin on the disabled list for the first time in his career, because of a torn labrum in his right hip. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.

Reed Johnson was activated from the disabled list. A.J. Ellis and Brad Ausmus will share catching duties.

Update: I asked baseball injury expert Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus about this. His response: “If the acetabular labrum is torn, this is devastating for the Dodgers. In the short term, Martin would be done for the season. We don’t really have good comparables for this – as far as I know, no catchers have had the procedures. Most have been very successful – Chase Utley, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Myers and more, just in baseball. The long term prognosis should be good, but the taxing nature of the catching position adds an element of uncertainty. If he has the FAIL surgery (femoral-acetabular impingement/labrum) he’d be out for approximately three to four months, which would have him back in time for spring training.”

Given the millions Martin could expect to earn if the Dodgers retain him for next season, I’m wondering if Martin has played his last game in a Dodger uniform.

Aug 03

Slumping Jeff Weaver heads to DL; Rafael Furcal next?

Jeff Weaver, who has allowed 14 runs in 13 2/3 innings since July 1, decided that it might be a good idea to admit that he was pitching with a knee problem. The Dodgers placed Weaver on the disabled list today with left knee tendinitis, and called up Ramon Troncoso from Albuquerque.

… “They kind of pried it out of me,” Weaver said. “Obviously, I wasn’t able to command my pitches like I need to. It’s my landing leg, obviously, so there has been some inconsistency with it. Now is not the time to go out there not at your best. It’s frustrating, but it’s not something that is going to get worse or anything. It just needs a little time to work itself out. Hopefully, this will give me a chance to get it stronger.”

Weaver said he didn’t sense club officials were upset with him for concealing his injury, which he says came on gradually.

“They didn’t really say anything about it,” he said. “I think more than anything, they were happy I came forth with it instead of continuing to go out there with it.” …

* * *

Rafael Furcal is out of the starting lineup tonight, with Joe Torre telling reporters today that the All-Star shortstop is having an MRI on his back. Torre said Furcal felt something in his lower back on a throw, and that he is hoping it is not related to the back trouble that sidelined him for weeks and months in the recent past.

Also, Manny Ramirez has suffered yet another setback, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

* * *

The Dodgers’ magic number to avoid last place is 42. Any combination of Dodger victories and Arizona defeats adding up to 42 will keep Los Angeles out of the cellar.

Jul 20

Manny Ramirez hits the DL trifecta


Dilip Vishwanat/Getty ImagesManny Ramirez looks on from the dugout at St. Louis on Sunday.

The news has finally come back on Manny Ramirez, and it’s not good.

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Tuesday that they have placed Manny Ramirez on the disabled list for the third time this season, and have activated Brad Ausmus from the 60-day disabled list to take his roster spot.

Ramirez suffered a right calf strain Friday in the first inning of his second game since being activated from the DL following a right hamstring injury.

A right calf malady also sidelined Ramirez from April 23 through May 7.

Ramirez has a .409 on-base percentage and .516 slugging percentage for the Dodgers this season, but has been held to 220 plate appearances — four in July.

Xavier Paul, Garret Anderson and utilityman Jamey Carroll are rotating in left field for the Dodgers in Ramirez’s absence. Paul is in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game against Tim Lincecum and San Francisco.

The activation of Ausmus, who had four plate appearances in 2010 before going on the disabled list with back trouble, gives the Dodgers three catchers on the roster for the time being, along with Russell Martin and A.J. Ellis. But with Reed Johnson already on the DL, Los Angeles had only one other outfield option on the 40-man roster: Double-A outfielder Trayvon Robinson. Martin has also been nursing a thumb injury, though he returned Monday and had three hits against the Giants.

Update: Joe Torre told the media today that Ramirez’s strain was significant, and that he is expected to remain sidelined for three weeks.

Torre also said that the Dodgers will return to having two catchers as soon as Wednesday. Robinson is not a possibility for a callup, but the team is considering purchasing the contract of Jay Gibbons, who has a .915 OPS for Albuquerque.

Ramirez was placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 17, which would mean he could come off the disabled list August 1 at the earliest. However, because Ramirez would certainly clear waivers because of the size of his contract, the Dodgers could still trade him after the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

Jul 16

Manny Ramirez injured again

Manny Ramirez left tonight’s Dodger game in the first inning with right calf tightness. We don’t know yet if it’s serious enough to send him back to the disabled list, but if it is, the Dodgers face an interesting roster quandary.

With Reed Johnson already on the disabled list, the Dodgers have only one other outfielder on the 40-man roster: 22-year-old AA outfielder Trayvon Robinson. For that matter, the only other available infielder on the 40-man that’s healthy is 23-year-old Ivan DeJesus, Jr. They could activate Brad Ausmus and carry three catchers, or they could purchase the contract of someone like Jay Gibbons or John Lindsey.

Hopefully, Ramirez will only be out a short time.

Jul 15

Kershaw LXX: Kershawt Tub Time Machine

What a matchup we have for you tonight, sports fans. Clayton Kershaw and Chris Carpenter in caliente conditions. Lots of good hard-c sounds there.

To make room for Manny Ramirez’s return from the disabled list, Reed Johnson was placed on the disabled list with back trouble, writes Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Johnson last played on July 8, so he would presumably be eligible to come off the disabled list July 24. Xavier Paul and Garret Anderson get to co-exist for a little while longer.

If the Dodgers make it through tonight’s game without any injuries, it will be the second day all season that they have had a healthy top-eight starting position players, top-four starting pitchers and top-two relievers (Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo) at the same time all season. The only other time was June 28 in San Francisco, the day Chad Billingsley was activated from the DL and the day before Ramirez hurt himself in the first inning.

* * *

  • James McDonald is the scheduled starter for Albuquerque on Friday, so if he’s scratched from that start or only works for a couple innings, we should have our biggest hint yet about whether he’ll be called up to start for the Dodgers on Monday.
  • The U.S. Postal service is releasing a Negro Leagues baseball series of stamps.

* * *

Update: George Sherrill talked to David Lassen of the Press-Enterprise. Sherrill confirmed that he was placed on waivers and said he wasn’t sure what would happen next.

… ” If I go down and I’m doing OK, then I’m just kind of stuck. If I go down and look like I’ve figured it out, I could still be stuck, because you go down, and say the club rattles off like eight in a row. George who, you know?

“So you’ve got to make sure every T is crossed, I guess, and make sure everything is right for the club but also everything is right for me and and my family.”

If he clears waivers, Sherrill will have the choice of accepting a minor-league assignment, refusing it, or declaring himself a free agent. Only in the last scenario would he forfeit the remainder of this year’s $4.5 million salary.

“I’ve got to talk to my agent and just make sure what’s what and see what options we do have,” Sherrill said. “… I don’t really fully understand it. That’s kind of why you sort of have an agent, to protect us on stuff that we have no idea what’s happening. So it’s just a matter of talking to him and ironing everything out and having him talk to them and see what’s what.” …

Jul 02

Chin-Lung Hu out for at least six weeks after thumb surgery


Gary A. Vasquez/US PresswireChin-Lung Hu (shown here in 2008) slugged .507 in June.

Chin-Lung Hu is trying a bit too hard to be like Chase Utley.

Hu had surgery on an injured thumb and is expected to be out six to eight weeks, reports Christopher Jackson of Albuquerque Baseball Examiner.

James McDonald would have gone past four innings Thursday, but he was hit on the left knee by a comebacker and was taken out of the game for precautionary reasons.

Cory Wade, outrighted to Albuquerque on Thursday, pitched a scoreless fifth to get the win. Josh Lindblom and Travis Schlichting each allowed runs in their relief outings.

Tim Wallach talked to Jackson about the 53 transactions the Isotopes made in June, believed to be a team record:  “It’s kind of what Triple-A is,” he said. “If we’re not moving guys up then we’re not doing our job, so that’s a good thing. Certainly guys are trying to get to know each other, I’m trying to get to know them, but it’s part of the deal. It’s good experience for not only the players but for us as a staff, too. You’ve got different personalities coming in and out all the time no matter where you’re at. I don’t look at it as tough.”

* * *

Dodger farm teams Chattanooga and Ogden each played 15-inning games Thursday.

The highlight for the Lookouts was Kenley Jansen striking out six batters in two innings. Chattanooga starting pitcher Aaron Miller allowed one run in five innings and had five of the Lookouts’ 17 strikeouts. Chattanooga scored three in the 15th to win, 4-1. Dee Gordon was 0 for 6 with a walk, Jerry Sands was 0 for 6 with three strikeouts and Andrew Lambo was 0 for 7.

Ogden also won, 5-4, on an RBI single by Chris Henderson (3 for 7), driving in Jesse Bosnik (2 for 4 with three walks).

* * *

Great Lakes righty Elisaul Pimentel, who turns 22 a week from Saturday, allowed more earned runs Thursday (five in six innings) than he had in his previous eight starts combined, in which his ERA was 1.00. But the Loons won, 7-6.

Phil Gurnee of True Blue L.A. posted a lengthy interview with Great Lakes beat writer Hugh Bernreuter of the Saginaw News. And don’t miss the latest Dodger prospect rankings from Chad Moriyama of Memories of Kevin Malone. Chris Withrow remains No. 1, but Jansen and Sands made huge leaps into the top five.

* * *

Dylan Hernandez of the Times has more details on the incident that apparently got Matt Kemp benched: a spat with coach Bob Schaefer. Kemp has reportedly not been backing up second base on basestealer throws by Russell Martin. Hernandez says Kemp has denied having “a confrontation” with the Dodger coaching staff, but I think that must be a semantics issue or just a cover.

Hernandez also today had a very nice feature on Hiroki Kuroda, who seems more haunted when he’s not pitching by the line drive that hit him in the head last year.

* * *

Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro on the Diamondbacks’ new manager: “I’m curious to see how interim manager Kirk Gibson settles into this role. I find the public perception of him to be wildly different from the way he actually is. It seems like everyone expects some kind of drill sergeant to come in and whip everyone into shape, a guy who’ll have smoke shooting from his ears on every bad call. Who knows, maybe that’s what he’ll be like, but that’s not what he’s been like in his time as the bench coach. He’s more of a goofy guy, someone the players monkey around with in the clubhouse, a guy who’s always keeping them loose. Maybe being the guy in charge will bring that drill sergeant out of him. We shall see.”