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Dodgers will shelve Padilla longer than expected, making his replacement more significant

That fill-in for injured right-hander Vicente Padilla just became of more interest.

Joe Torre said in New York Tuesday that Padilla won’t even be able to begin throwing for seven to 10 days because of the inflamed radial nerve in his forearm.

That means a longer stay for the starter the Dodgers are being forced to add to their rotation, and less a quick stopgap.

If Padilla can’t even throw for 10 days, it will take awhile for him to get back into starting shape. That could take another week or more, meaning his replacement could be looking at as many as four starts.

The Dodgers are currently expected to bring right-hander John Ely up from triple-A Albuquerque and start him Wednesday afternoon against the Mets.

Ely was the other pitcher, along with Jon Link, the Dodgers acquired from the White Sox in the Juan Pierre trade in the offseason.

It would be a big jump for Ely. He pitched at double A last year (14-2, 2.82 ERA) and is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA at Albuquerque. His most recent start was last Wednesday.

This is almost crossing fingers and hoping for the best. If Ely falters, there could be another call to Albuquerque, though no one there has been particularly impressive.

-- Steve Dilbeck
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In a situation such as this, you have to look at the bright side. One of these minor league guys might make the most of his opportunity to pitch in the show. We all know the Dodgers can use a starting pitcher...or two.

Pedro Martinez (hears phone ringing): "Hola?"

Ned: "Pedro? This is ned Colleti from the Dodgers. Listen, I know we had that issue years ago when the Dodger got rid of you, but that was a long time ago and before my time here, and we really, really need you now."

Pedro: "Well, I don't know if I want to come back now, especially to Los Dodgers...."

Ned: "You don't understand. My pitching royally stinks, and I've got nothing in AAA since our owner made me trade away all of our prospects. I'm desperate. What would it take? I'll offer you a fair market contract.... (sounds of scuffling)"

Pedro: "Ned? Are you still there? If you need me and will pay me fairly, I'll be there. Ned?"

(Frank McCourt picks up the phone)

Frank: "Pedro? I just had to beat down Ned. He wasn't authorized to call you, 'cause I'm broke. I'll offer you a ham sandwich and $100, but that's it."

Pedro: "No way."

Frank: "I have to go. The Bentley dealer and my Beverly Hills real estate agent are both holding on the other lines."

Seriously, isn't Pedro Martinez the answer to our pitching troubles?


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