Ethier takes batting practice again
CHICAGO -- For the second straight day, Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier took a full session of batting practice with the team, but a probable minor league rehabilitation stint means he won't be back in the Dodgers' starting lineup when he becomes eligible on Sunday.
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Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he approached Ethier before Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Cubs about possibly doing a rehab assignment. "He [nodded] his head," Torre said.
The Dodgers would prefer Ethier's rehab take place at the Triple-A level, but the Dodgers' affiliate in Albuquerque begins an eight-game trip on Friday night to Memphis and Nashville. Ethier could play with Class A Inland Empire, which is home through Saturday and then plays three games at Lancaster.
Ethier has a broken knuckle in his right pinkie and is wearing a splint that immobilizes that knuckle but allows full movement in the rest of the finger. He is "probably going to go out and play a couple of games, but he actually feels good," Torre said. "I watched him hit [on Tuesday], and he really had no restrictions.
"He seemed seamless as far as trying to protect it. He said it aches a little bit when he's finished, but it certainly isn't keeping him from swinging a bat.''
Right-hander Vicente Padilla, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 25 with a nerve problem at the top of his forearm, is scheduled to throw a 45-pitch simulated game before Saturday night's game at Colorado.
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Trainer Stan Conte said that if that goes well, Padilla would begin a minor league rehab stint next week. That assignment would consist of roughly three starts, putting Padilla on track to return in about 2 1/2 weeks. "That is how we have it on paper, but we may shorten it up or we may lengthen it out," Conte said. "The general rule is 45-50 [pitches in the first start], 50-60 [in the second] and then 75-plus, which gets you ready to throw about 90 in a major league game.''
Link a likely call-up
Right-hander Jon Link seems to be the most likely candidate for a call-up later this week to fill the bullpen spot of rookie Carlos Monasterios, who is scheduled to make his second start of the season Friday night at Colorado. Link is one of three relievers at Triple-A Albuquerque, along with Brent Leach and Travis Schlichting, who are on the Dodgers' 40-man roster.
Link, despite his 6.35 ERA entering Wednesday, has two advantages. He been up twice this year, appearing in a total of three games for the Dodgers, and he has pitched extremely well, giving up no runs and three hits in his last 6 2/3 innings for the Isotopes.
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The Dodgers cut back to 11 pitchers when George Sherrill went on the 15-day DL Tuesday, but Torre reiterated Wednesday that is temporary and a reliever will be added before Monasterios' start. Torre also said former fifth starter Ramon Ortiz, who hadn't been heard from since his last start a week earlier, would be held in reserve in case Monasterios doesn't go deep into the game.
Monasterios hasn't thrown more than 55 pitches in any appearance this season, except for his lone start May 1 against Pittsburgh. He threw 73 pitches in that game, but got through only four innings. Torre said he is confident Monasterios can throw 80-90 pitches against the Rockies unless he has any unusually long innings.
Jarrin to represent Dodgers at Lima funeral
Jaime Jarrin, the Dodgers' longtime Spanish language broadcaster, will represent the team at this weekend's funeral for former pitcher Jose Lima in the Dominican Republic. Jarrin will be in the country for his induction into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame. Longtime Dodgers scout Camilo Pascual and former owner Peter O'Malley also are being inducted into the inaugural class for the newly created Hall.Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.