06/05/07 10:15 PM ET
Notes: Saito tests hamstring
Dodgers closer not quite ready to throw off mound
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Saito threw softly and landed on his left leg gently, but didn't back off the workout and seemed to be satisfied with his progress in the two days since suffering the injury. Before the workout, he said he does not feel discomfort while doing normal everyday motions.
"The final checkpoint will be when I can throw off a mound," Saito said. "It's throwing off the incline and the twisting, that's where the discomfort was. If I can do that, I can pitch in a game."
Saito would not estimate when he would be ready for that, although it's likely to be closer to a week than a day away. Manager Grady Little has decided to play with a short-handed bullpen rather than disable Saito before knowing definitively that he will be unable to pitch a minimum of 15 days.
"He's much better today," Little said. "We expect it to be a couple more days."
Hull down, Meloan next? To make room for Jason Schmidt on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned Eric Hull back to Triple-A Las Vegas. Hull was in the Major Leagues for four games, warming up in three of them, but not appearing in any.
"I would have liked to have gotten in there," said Hull. "But I learned a lot from watching. I gained information I'll take down there and work on."
The next time the need arises for another bullpen arm, it might be Double-A right-hander John Meloan. He impressed Little during Spring Training and has done nothing at Jacksonville to diminish his potential. He's 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA, 38 strikeouts and 11 walks in 28 innings, and opponents are batting .158 against him.
Injury update: Relievers Yhency Brazoban and Chin-hui Tsao had their injured shoulders examined at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles and no major problems were discovered. Both are expected to resume throwing next week.
Flaps are down: A faulty warning light in the cockpit of the Dodgers' Delta charter flight from Pittsburgh to San Diego resulted in emergency landing procedures for the club early Tuesday morning at San Diego International Airport.
A hard landing and the presence of emergency vehicles on the runway had players and staff assuming they had survived a near catastrophe. But traveling secretary Scott Akasaki said the plane actually functioned fine mechanically and landed at normal speed, coming in over the ocean because of noise abatement regulations after midnight.
"There was stuff in front of the plane that started in the back of the plane," Little said of the abrupt landing and braking. "But we're here safely and that's all that counts."
Minor League All-Stars: Four members of the Dodgers' Class A affiliate Great Lakes Loons have been named to the league's All-Star squad. Joining the Midwest League's Eastern roster are first baseman Eduardo Perez, infielder Francisco Lizarraga, left-handed starter Clayton Kershaw and right-handed reliever Miguel Ramirez.
Perez, hitting .309 with seven homers and 27 RBIs entering play June 5, has been selected as a starter at first base. Lizarraga has played both shortstop and second base this season and will be a reserve infielder for the Eastern squad. He is hitting .290 with a pair of homers and 13 RBIs. Kershaw (6-2) is currently eighth in the league in ERA (2.13) and tied for second in strikeouts (74). Ramirez has allowed just two earned runs all season in 21 innings (0.86 ERA).
Hollywood Stars Night Saturday: Television and film stars will be participating in the 49th annual Hollywood Stars Game this Saturday at 5:15 p.m. PT before the Dodgers take on the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:10 p.m. Fans are invited to watch from Dodger Stadium's outfield grass and warning track to see their favorite Hollywood celebrities play. FSN Prime Ticket's Steve Lyons and Patrick O'Neal will coach each team of stars.
The roster of stars scheduled to appear in the game includes Antonio Villaraigosa (Mayor of Los Angeles), Luc Robitaille (LA King legend), James Denton ("Desperate Housewives"), Dave Annable ("Brothers and Sisters"), Gary Valentine ("King of Queens"), Oscar Nunez ("The Office"), Michael Clarke Duncan ("Talladega Nights"), Adrian Pasdar ("Heroes"), James Van Der Beek ("Dawson's Creek"), Neal McDonough ("Flags of Our Fathers"), Corbin Bernsen ("PSYCH," "Major League"), Shemar Moore ("Criminal Minds"), Larry Joe Campbell ("According to Jim"), Wallace Langham ("CSI"), Robert Gossett ("The Closer"), David Berman ("CSI"), Danny Strong ("Gilmore Girls"), Michael Rosenbaum ("Smallville"), Joel McHale ("The Soup"), Sam Page ("Shark"), Kenny Johnson ("Grace," "The Shield"), George Stults ("7th Heaven"), Jon Wellner ("Evan Almighty," "CSI"), Joe Mantegna ("Starter Wife"), Aylin Mujica ("Marina"), Mauricio Islas ("Prisionera") and more.
Coming up: Randy Wolf (7-3, 3.68) opposes former Dodger Greg Maddux (4-3, 3.92) Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. PT.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.