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Dodgers web musings: When the rites of spring are tweaks and sprains

March 26, 2011 |  6:33 pm

Mattingly1_300 One day, all is calm. Anyway, as reasonable a calm as it goes for teams coming off a losing season.

And then one pitcher goes down, and then another, and yet one more. Not to mention your starting third baseman and backup catcher.

Maybe Vicente Padilla is ahead of schedule in his return from arm surgery, and Jon Garland’s strained oblique isn’t all that serious and Tim Redding really won’t be sidelined that long from his back injury.

When you’re making plans during spring training, it best be in your lightest No.3 pencil. Being flexible is the key, and newbie Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly is getting an early test to his fluidity this spring.

You shuffle as best you can with what you have, which is why John Ely was reassigned to the minor-league camp Saturday so he can stay behind and throw long in a start in Arizona.

The Dodgers don’t have to use a fifth starter until April 12, so whether they go with Ely or Redding -- there are no other real options at this point -- they still have time to rearrange things.

At least until the next injury and the next adjustment.

Also on the web:

-- The Times’ Bill Shaikin takes a poignant look at how baseball reaches out to help its own while at the charity game to benefit the victims of the Tucson shooting tragedy.

-- ESPN/LA’s Jon Weisman introduces Joe Block, the new co-host of Dodger Talk on 790 AM, with a question-and-answer piece.

--’s Ken Gurnick
said right-hander Jon Garland was so encouraged after throwing off the mound Saturday for the first time since straining his oblique on March 9, the Dodgers think he might only miss one or two starts.

-- The New York Daily News’ Bill Madden writes that Commissioner Bud Selig is concerned his legacy could take an even greater hit from the financial quagmire of the Dodgers and Mets than it did from the steroids scandal.

-- True Blue LA’s Eric Stephen
wonders if signing Juan Uribe this offseason may prove to be a costly addition.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly during an exhibition game against the White Sox on Wednesday at Camelback Ranch. Credit: Rick Scuteri / Reuters