Dodgers' Weaver to oppose brother
Jeff to face Jered on Saturday; Wolf has tests for cough
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitchers were making news Wednesday, with Jeff Weaver named to start Saturday against his brother, Jered, and the Angels, closer Jonathan Broxton sidelined for a night by a sore right big toe and starter Randy Wolf undergoing medical tests to determine if whooping cough is the source of his persistent cough.
Manager Joe Torre named Weaver to start Saturday night, marking the first time the Weaver brothers will pitch against each other. It almost happened two years ago when Jeff was with Seattle, but Jered was bumped by the return of Ervin Santana.
Weaver will be filling in for Eric Milton, who is healed from a strained back muscle that put him on the disabled list. But Milton cannot be activated until Sunday. Torre told Weaver to throw a bullpen session during Wednesday night's game, as long as starter Hiroki Kuroda did not leave the game early.
"It's a chance to share the same mound on the same day and not many can say that," said Weaver. "It's a moment we won't forget. It's pretty special regardless of the outcome."
Weaver said his parents had planned to attend the wedding of a relative in Temecula, Calif., but those plans have changed.
"I wouldn't want to be the people sitting around them during the course of the game," he said. "The best way I can explain is both of us coming out of the game tied and leaving it up to the bullpens to decide the game."
The last time opposing brothers started was 2002 (Andy and Alan Benes). In all of Major League history (going back to 1871), it has happened only 20 times, with the Dodgers involved twice -- 1996 when Ramon Martinez pitched for the Dodgers and Pedro for Montreal; and 1926 when Jess Barnes pitched for Brooklyn against Virgil and the Giants.
Torre said Broxton had a cortisone injection in the big toe of his push-off foot, the discomfort explaining his erratic velocity lately. Torre said he was told Broxton should be available Thursday and he was uncertain who would close in a save situation Wednesday night, one day after setup man Ramon Troncoso was tagged for two homers and four runs.
Meanwhile, Wolf underwent medical tests Wednesday seeking a diagnosis for a persistent cough with a very unusual new theory: whooping cough. Wolf has been bothered by the cough for about six weeks. He said he feels fine otherwise and believes it has no effect on his pitching.
But whatever he has, it's left his voice raspy and he can't shake the cough. He hopes to have results of the blood work within a week.
The whooping cough theory was suggested in a roundabout way, through a doctor friend of former player Matt Franco. The doctor read of Wolf's symptoms and suggested through Franco that Wolf might be suffering from whooping cough (pertussis), which is contagious, although most children are immunized.
"It's been nagging and it's something more than a cold," said Wolf. "It really doesn't affect me. It just gives me a sexy voice."
Torre said injured reliever Will Ohman, who is on the 15-day disabled list, will make his second rehab appearance for Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday and will pitch in back-to-back games next week before being activated.
Claudio Vargas continues his rehab assignment for a torn elbow tendon, and Torre said he most likely will be kept in relief. Jason Schmidt might resume his rehab assignment in a few days and Hong-Chih Kuo still isn't ready for one yet.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.