Padilla headed back to disabled list
Dodgers right-hander hits shelf again with neck injury
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers took another hit on Thursday, announcing that Opening Day starter Vicente Padilla would be placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday, this time with a bulging disk in his neck.Manager Joe Torre said reliever Carlos Monasterios will get the spot start on Friday night in place of Padilla. He said reliever Travis Schlichting would likely be recalled to take Padilla's spot on the roster. The injury, according to Torre and trainer Stan Conte, coincides with Padilla's rocky last two starts (12 runs in 9 1/3 innings) after a two-hit shutout of the Padres on Aug. 4. Padilla said he first felt a "pinch" while pitching in the third inning in Philadelphia on Aug. 10. Padilla pitched three scoreless innings against the Phillies, then allowed four runs the next two innings. He felt it again by the third inning on Sunday in Atlanta. He said it affected his follow-through and he made a mechanical adjustment to compensate, "but it didn't work," he said. The Dodgers were aware of the injury in both of those starts and it is not believed to require surgery, according to Conte. "He's had a little left neck pain the last two starts," said Conte. "He complained after the first couple of innings. He feels it down the left side of the neck to the shoulder blade. He thought it was under control, but after the third inning in Atlanta Sunday, we decided to have it looked at." Padilla underwent an MRI exam, which showed a small bulge that was not pressing on a nerve, but "was probably the source of the problem," Conte said. "The doctor believes it's not surgical and will heal." Padilla will be shut down from throwing and have an epidural injection to reduce inflammation, after which the club can determine how long he will be sidelined. Padilla earlier missed two months with an inflamed radial nerve in his throwing arm. He signed a one-year, $5.025 million contract and is eligible for free agency after this season. Padilla is 6-4 with a 3.96 ERA and a .222 opponents batting average.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.