Schmidt to have shoulder surgery Wednesday; return date uncertain

Updated: June 20, 2007, 3:16 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Jason Schmidt will have shoulder surgery in Los Angeles on Wednesday and his return date is uncertain.

Jason Schmidt

Schmidt

Starting Pitcher
Los Angeles Dodgers

Profile

2007 Season Stats
GM W L BB K ERA
6 1 4 14 22 6.31

"It's very discouraging," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said before Tuesday's game in Toronto.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who examined Schmidt on Monday, will perform the surgery.

Right-hander Chad Billingsley (4-0) will start in Schmidt's place against Toronto on Thursday.

"When you lose an ingredient like Jason Schmidt from the rotation, everyone else has got to step it up," manager Grady Little said after the Dodgers' 10-1 win on Tuesday.

Schmidt, who signed a $47 million, three-year contract as a free agent during the offseason, was placed on the disabled list in April with bursitis in his shoulder after going 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA in three starts.

Following a 45-game absence, Schmidt returned June 5 and threw six shutout innings in San Diego, consistently reaching 89 mph and topping out at 91 mph.

But the 34-year-old right-hander didn't perform nearly as well in his last two starts, and his velocity was down. He allowed three runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, walking four and striking out two. He is 1-4 with a 6.31 ERA.

Schmidt admitted after Saturday's game that he was still not at full strength.

"I just haven't felt like myself," he said.

Schmidt was placed on the disabled list Monday and utilityman Marlon Anderson was activated from the disabled list to take his place on the roster.

Also Tuesday, the Dodgers announced that right-hander Yhency Brazoban will have surgery Friday to repair a tear in his labrum and will be out indefinitely.

"The timing on him coming back doesn't look that good," Little said.

Brazoban, who missed 29 games earlier his year because of a sore elbow, has appeared in just four games for Los Angeles this season, allowing three runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Chin-hui Tsao (strained shoulder) threw from flat ground before Monday's game and was able to throw his breaking ball without pain, Little said. A decision on his return will be made after he throws from the mound on Wednesday.

Little also said infielder Ramon Martinez (sore back) is close to resuming workouts and could rejoin the team in Arizona next week.

Despite the rash of injuries to its pitching staff, Los Angeles is ranked second in the National League with a team ERA of 3.67.

"The pitching has been solid, whether it's the starters or the relievers," Colletti said. "We asked the starters in the winter to give us more innings, to give the bullpen a chance to catch its breath once in a while, and they have."

Of greater concern to Colletti is the offense. Los Angeles has a team batting average of .259 and has scored just 294 runs, the fifth-lowest total in the NL.

"Our primary objective is a way to jump-start the offense, whether it's internally with the younger players or going outside [through a trade]," Colletti said.

Colletti said a trade would not be his first choice.

"I still find the outside a precarious endeavor," he said. "Those players you think you might be able to acquire are struggling through really down years, really uncharacteristic type years, but the asking-price is still as if they were on their way to the All-Star Game."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press