05/19/11 12:02 AM ET
Dodgers to let matchups decide closing duties
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Mattingly said Matt Guerrier, who saved his first game as a Dodger on Tuesday night, and Kenley Jansen will get the call "depending on the lineup and how we match up," with Mike MacDougal in the mix because of his three seasons of 20-plus saves. Jansen had pitched in four of the last five games entering Wednesday.
"In that sense of the word," said Mattingly, "it's a little bit by committee."
Mattingly said after primary closer Jonathan Broxton went on the disabled list that he doesn't like closers by committee because they aren't effective, but he's left with no choice.
Broxton, out with a bruised elbow, is only light tossing and is weeks away from returning. Secondary closer Hong-Chih Kuo is on the DL indefinitely with anxiety disorder. Ronald Belisario never made it to Spring Training. Blake Hawksworth is on the DL with a strained right groin.
Now Padilla could be headed back to the disabled list, having started the season there after surgery. He last pitched Friday night, using 32 pitches, the most he's thrown since the February operation to free an entrapped radial nerve, and recorded only two outs.
Mattingly said Padilla didn't complain until Tuesday night, when head athletic trainer Stan Conte said Padilla had discomfort closer to the wrist than the surgical site. On Wednesday, he felt discomfort closer to the surgical site on the outside of the forearm.
Mattingly said it "could be" serious, yet Conte said the medical department "anticipated that in the elbow area there would be discomfort now and then, so we're not totally surprised when he comes in and says that."
Conte said Padilla was examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday night and would be examined again Wednesday night. He didn't know how long it would be before Padilla could throw, but all signs pointed to the Dodgers needing a replacement sooner than later.
Guerrier gives to help tornado relief, kids
LOS ANGELES -- Reliever Matt Guerrier, who saved his first game as a Dodger on Tuesday night, on Wednesday donated $25,000 to benefit the Salvation Army's tornado relief fund.
"This tragedy hit close to home and so many people lost so much," said Guerrier, who makes his home in Birmingham, Ala. "I'm just trying to do what I can to help out where it's needed."
Guerrier, who signed a three-year, $12 million free-agent contract to join the club, also donated $10,000 to the Dodgers Dream Foundation to help provide educational, athletic and recreational opportunities for the youth of Los Angeles.
Earlier this month, Guerrier's bullpenmate, Lance Cormier, a resident of Tuscaloosa, Ala., spearheaded a fundraiser for the team that raised close to $10,000 for the relief efforts.
Blake planning to start rehab games Friday
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake said he expects to begin a Minor League rehab assignment Friday at Triple-A Albuquerque, where he will join shortstop Rafael Furcal, who started his rehab assignment last weekend.
Blake, who underwent surgery for a staph infection in his left elbow three weeks ago, has been taking batting practice throughout the current homestand and has full range of motion in the elbow. He said he will play with a protective shield on the elbow.
Meanwhile, Furcal homered for the Isotopes on Tuesday night. He is 5-for-13 with three walks and six RBIs in four games. Last week, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the hope was for Furcal to rejoin the club when it opens a three-game series in Houston on Monday.
Furcal has been out since April 12 with a fractured left thumb.
The Dodgers have had 13 injuries requiring disabled-list trips, a number they didn't reach last year until June 19.
High school teams honored at Dodgers game
LOS ANGELES -- Bell High School, champion of the second annual Dennis Gilbert Classic, and runner-up Venice High School were recognized in pregame ceremonies at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night.
The title game was held at MLB's Compton Urban Youth Academy on April 23 between the two clubs that emerged from 24 Los Angeles-area high schools.
The Classic, presented by State Farm, is named after Gilbert, a board member of the Urban Youth Academy who played at Gardena High School and is currently a special assistant to Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
Gilbert provided tickets for Wednesday night's game to members of the baseball teams from both Bell and Venice.
Gilbert, long involved in the Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities program, also is a co-founder of the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation that aids scouts and their families in need.
David Shemwell, coach of Bell, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Dodgers game against the Giants.
Also taking part in the ceremony were Venice High School coach Walter Fujita; Gilbert; Darrell Miller, MLB vice president of youth and family development; and assistant commissioner of Los Angeles Unified School District Athletics John Aguirre.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.