Hurt Vicente Padilla unavailable
LOS ANGELES -- Add reliever and de facto closer Vicente Padilla to the Los Angeles Dodgers' ever-increasing list of injured players, the veteran right-hander having been shut down for the second game in a row on Wednesday night against the San Francisco Giants because of discomfort in his elbow, which was surgically repaired three months ago.
"(Tuesday) was the first day we heard anything about it, before the game," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "I guess the doc is going to look at it when he gets here. I'm assuming at that point, they will make some kind of decision about MRIs and go from there."
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Padilla underwent surgery on Feb. 24 in hopes of finally resolving an issue that had been plaguing him for almost a year, the procedure being to free a radial nerve that was trapped under a muscle on the top of his forearm. He was activated for the first time on April 22 and became a reliever after being used almost exclusively as a starter for the past decade.
Padilla then moved gradually into the closer's role as Jonathan Broxton continued to battle inconsistency and ineffectiveness and eventually wound up on the 15-day disabled list earlier this month with a bone bruise in his own right elbow.
Padilla is 3-for-3 in save opportunities, but he failed to complete one in his most recent appearance, on Friday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks, when rookie Kenley Jansen had to come out of the bullpen to record the final out after Padilla gave up two earned runs.
"It's kind of the same general area (as the surgery)," trainer Stan Conte said. "We did anticipate he would have some discomfort every now and then (from the surgery). We knew that going in."
It is too early to tell, Conte said, whether this is just that normal discomfort or something more serious.
Mattingly said that with both Broxton and Padilla out, the Dodgers will employ a closer-by-committee approach that likely would include Jansen, setup man Matt Guerrier and former All-Star closer Mike MacDougal. Guerrier pitched a perfect ninth inning to record the save in Tuesday night's win over the Milwaukee Brewers, his first save in 11 months.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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