Right-hander Penny coming back to Dodgers as reliever

Updated: September 10, 2008, 9:44 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers activated pitcher Brad Penny from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday and plan to use their former ace as a reliever.

Penny went on the disabled list Aug. 14 because of inflammation in his right shoulder. It was his second stint on the DL this year.

Penny is 6-9 with a 6.05 ERA. The righty was a combined 32-13 in the previous two seasons, making the All-Star team both years.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre said that Penny would be used initially out of the bullpen, pitching one or two innings. Penny has made two career regular-season relief appearances, and has done it four times in the postseason.

Torre said he would have to see how Penny pitches before deciding when to put him back into the rotation.

Dodgers closer Takashi Saito, who has been on the DL since July 13 with a sore right elbow, threw a simulated game Wednesday.

"I thought he was very good," Torre said. "He threw a couple of flat breaking balls, but for the most part his fastball had a lot of life to it. And a good number of his sliders were sharp. He said it's the best he's felt. And we hope to activate him this weekend."

Saito is 3-3 with 17 saves and a 2.18 ERA in 39 games.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press