DENVER -- Disabled Opening Day starting pitcher Vicente Padilla is expected to take another step in his recovery from an inflamed radial nerve in his pitching forearm on Saturday, when he throws a simulated game at Coors Field.
Padilla, on the disabled list since April 23, has been throwing regular bullpen sessions, however he has felt some minor sensation lower in the arm that club medics believe is from therapy and not part of the original injury. He only began throwing breaking balls off a mound earlier this week.
If the simulated game goes well, Padilla might next try a Minor League rehab assignment. He'll probably need to make three starts in the Minors before he's ready to return to the Dodgers rotation.
Left-hander George Sherrill, placed on the DL on Tuesday with a stiff mid-back he suffered while getting into bed, also might throw an inning in the simulated game. He is also certain to go on a Minor League rehab assignment soon.
Blake still steamed about rubber controversy
DENVER -- One day after the controversy, the Dodgers were still steamed, not so much with Ted Lilly's repeated violation of the rule about a pitcher making contact with the rubber, but with the umpire's crew failure to enforce it.
Casey Blake, who called the Cubs pitcher a cheater, was angry with the umpires, particularly first-base ump and crew chief John Hirschbeck, and clubhouse television replays clearly showing the infraction only further agitated the Dodgers.
"Ted knows what he's doing," said Blake, "and I don't hate him for trying. Why not, if the umpires won't say anything? If I was a pitcher, I'd do it every time."
After the game, Hirschbeck said he couldn't see if Lilly was off the rubber from where he was standing and wasn't going to move. Third-base umpire Wally Bell said, "I looked. He was fine."
But Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa said Bell conceded to him that Lilly was off the rubber. First-base coach Mariano Duncan said he pointed it out to Hirschbeck three innings before Blake's sixth-inning run-in that Lilly was moving as much as six inches in front of the rubber on alternating pitches. Blake said he still doesn't understand why one of the umpires didn't say something to Lilly.
"I've seen pitchers do it, and they just get reprimanded," said Blake. "I've seen umpires tell the pitcher to get on the rubber. I've seen them move to get a look. So if they're not going to call it, every pitcher should do it.
"I wanted to talk to John after the game to apologize, but if it's that blatant, am I not supposed to say something? What's to keep every pitcher from being four or five inches in front of the rubber?"
Dodgers manager Joe Torre didn't seem interested in taking the complaint to the Commissioner's Office.
"I'm sure Major League Baseball watches those shows too. They'll see it," he said. "I'd be surprised if there isn't some kind of recognition for it. I like Teddy. He played for me. Was it inadvertent? I don't know about that. There's not much you can do about it. If we face him again, it'll be like a warning with knockdowns situation, and we'll take a look at it."
Ethier singles in rehab appearance
DENVER -- Disabled Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored Friday night in the first game of a two-game Minor League rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque at Memphis.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Ethier, who played seven innings Friday night, will also play for Albuquerque Saturday night, fly home Sunday and will likely be activated Monday.
Ethier is recovering from a broken little finger on his right hand suffered two weeks ago Saturday in San Diego while taking batting practice.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.