05/23/07 10:41 PM ET
Notes: Brazoban back in bigs
Dodgers reliever makes comeback from elbow surgery
By Jayson Addcox / MLB.com
Brazoban, who was recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, appeared in 11 games for the 51s, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out 14 in 13 2/3 innings.
"Every game, my arm was feeling better," Brazoban said. "My problems are in the past and I've come back a new player."
The Dodgers have been cautious with Brazoban since activating him on May 5, but manager Grady Little said he feels confident his hard-throwing righty is ready to go.
"He put together some pretty good numbers during the 2005 year," Little said. "He had the surgery and he's come back strong. We're looking forward to seeing him on the mound."
Little said Brazoban will primarily be used in the sixth and seventh innings, even though Brazoban had mainly been used as a setup man and closer in previous seasons with the Dodgers.
"Right now, we feel really comfortable with the people we have in the eighth and ninth inning," Little said. "We'll use him in the sixth and the seventh if we need someone at that time."
Brazoban said he was not concerned where he would be used in the bullpen. At this point, Brazoban said he was just happy to be back and excited to help the team.
"For me it's fine. That's the manager's decision and I'm fine with what he is doing," Brazoban said. "For me it doesn't matter."
The road back for Brazoban has been long and arduous. Brazoban appeared in five games for the Dodgers in 2006 before he was sidelined with a strained elbow on April 14. Four days later, he underwent surgery and was told he would probably return in May or June of 2007.
"It was a hard time. Especially having to watch the team go through good times and bad times," Brazoban said. "I felt bad, it was uncomfortable for me."
Brazoban has returned this season in better physical shape and ready to make an impact in the Dodgers bullpen.
"I have lost some weight and generally I'm feeling better," Brazoban said. "I'm throwing 94- 95 miles per hour and I feel good."
For Tsao, who was replaced by Brazoban, the news wasn't so good on Wednesday. The reliever experienced some tightness in his shoulder warming up in the bullpen during Tuesday's game. He was diagnosed with a right shoulder strain and placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Tomko out: Little said that starting pitcher Brett Tomko will not make his scheduled start on Sunday and has been sent to the bullpen.
Tomko is 1-5 with a 6.28 ERA in eight starts this season. Tomko appeared out of the bullpen 25 times last season and was 8-7 with a 4.73 ERA, including 15 starts. He will be available to pitch in relief on Friday.
Lineup shuffle: Rafael Furcal returned to the leadoff spot in the order Wednesday after hitting in the two-hole Monday and Tuesday.
Little said Juan Pierre, who hit in the second spot in the order Wednesday, and Furcal will alternate with Furcal hitting leadoff against lefties and Pierre against righties.
"It's going to be day-to-day," Little said. "It'll have a lot to do with the matchups. I think right now I'm leaning toward, against a left-handed pitcher, Furcal will lead off."
Fore! The Dodgers will host the sixth annual Dodgers Dream Foundation's Charity Golf Invitational at Trump National Golf Club on Thursday.
Current Dodgers Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Brett Tomko, Joe Beimel and Jonathon Broxton will play in the event. Former Dodgers and some of the coaches will also participate in the annual event.
Schmidt to throw: Starting pitcher Jason Schmidt will throw a simulated game on Friday. He is expected to throw a minimum of 60 pitches, but may throw more depending on how he feels.
Coming up: The Dodgers have an off-day Thursday before opening up a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers will send RHP Derek Lowe (4-5, 3.84) to the mound against Cubs LHP Ted Lilly (4-2, 2.69) on Friday night at 7:40 p.m. PT.
Jayson Addcox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.