DENVER -- He committed a throwing error that led to a pair of unearned runs, his seventh error in 24 games, so all still is not well with Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal.But on Saturday night, he did show he was able to make a play that had previously disappeared from his repertoire in the wake of 2008 back surgery. Twice against the Rockies, Furcal ranged deep into the hole between short and third base, made a backhand grab of a grounder, slammed on the brakes and threw across his body. He threw out Ian Stewart in the first inning and just missed getting Troy Tulowitzki in the third. But with a strained hamstring healed, Furcal said he's able to do things he couldn't -- or wouldn't -- do a year ago. "I was scared for my back," Furcal admits. "Now I feel good, my back feels good, I don't feel anything and I can play my game and move more than before." Furcal recalled that it was that type of twisting play on which he originally injured his back in a Coors Field game in September of 2007. He reinjured it in 2008 throwing out David Wright of the Mets in May and before he played another game he had surgery for a herniated disk and didn't play again until September. Although technically healed last year, Furcal played the entire season but was cautious in the field and on the bases, where he stole only 12 bases. He has eight this year.
Monasterios getting another start
DENVER -- The Dodgers have shuffled their fifth starter again, scratching Charlie Haeger from Tuesday's scheduled start before he could even be reactivated from the disabled list and returning rookie Carlos Monasterios to the starting rotation for at least one more assignment."Haeger's foot problem hasn't gone away. We saw him limping on the video [from a Saturday appearance]," said manager Joe Torre. "We're going to just put him off." Torre had decided to insert Haeger Tuesday night and provide an extra day of rest for rookie John Ely, who has secured a regular spot in the rotation. Instead, Ely will pitch on Tuesday, followed Wednesday by Monasterios, who pitched well in a start on Friday night at Coors Field. Haeger was sent to the DL on May 9 with a foot injury that was described as plantar fasciitis, along with an 0-4 record and 8.49 ERA. While on a rehab assignment, he sprained a big toe, and that is what currently bothers him, Torre said. The Dodgers apparently want to give Haeger at least one more start before they decide his future role with the club. "We want to get him back here to give him every opportunity to put his best foot forward, no pun intended," said Torre. "We want to give him every shot."
Dodgers send Elbert back to Triple-A
DENVER -- The Dodgers returned left-handed reliever Scott Elbert to Triple-A Albuquerque after Sunday's game and recalled right-handed reliever Travis Schlichting.Elbert was called up to counter Colorado's left-handed hitters, but he walked three of them in his only appearance Saturday night. Schlichting, who had a brief callup last year, is 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in 31 1/3 innings at Albuquerque.
Ethier returning to lineup Monday
DENVER -- Andre Ethier is expected to be activated off the Dodgers' disabled list for Monday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, manager Joe Torre said on Sunday."Last night went well," said Torre. "I expect him to play tomorrow, or the next day." Ethier completed a two-game Minor League rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday night in Memphis, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored. He was placed on the DL on May 15 after suffering a broken little finger on his right hand during batting practice.
Elbert, Miller have polarized debuts
DENVER -- Recent relief callups Scott Elbert and Justin Miller made their 2010 Dodgers debuts on Saturday night with completely opposite results.Elbert, a former No. 1 pick who was promoted specifically to counter Colorado's left-handed hitters, walked three of them while retiring only two of six batters and spent the postgame watching video to figure out his mechanical flaws. "That wasn't too good," manager Joe Torre said. "He has to get straightened out. He was better two years ago. He's spinning sideways on everything." Miller, however, retired all four batters he faced after inheriting Elbert's bases-loaded mess. It was his first Major League appearance since last year's shoulder surgery. "I'll take it," he said. "It's always good to get the first one out of the way."
The Dodgers returned Elbert to Triple-A Albuquerque after Sunday's game and recalled right-handed reliever Travis Schlichting.
Padilla weighs in on Saturday incident
DENVER -- Injured Dodgers pitcher Vicente Padilla Sunday was willing to talk about his Saturday controversy because, as he put it, he didn't do anything wrong.The Denver police agreed, declining to arrest or press charges against Padilla after a "friend" called police and accused the pitcher of domestic violence. "Nothing happened," said Padilla. "If anything happened, I'd be arrested." Instead, after being interviewed by authorities Saturday, Padilla threw a simulated game at Coors Field as part of his rehabilitation from an inflamed radial nerve in his right arm. Manager Joe Torre said Sunday morning it hasn't been decided if Padilla will throw another simulated game before beginning a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. Padilla, describing the woman who made the accusation "a friend," said he didn't know why she called police and that he wasn't worried when it happened. "I didn't do anything. Why would they arrest me if I didn't do anything?" he said.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.