Vicente Padilla's stiff forearm latest blow to Dodgers' closing spot?
And the bullpen doors opened in the ninth inning Tuesday, and out strode -- not the disabled Jonathan Broxton, not the disabled Hong-Chih Kuo, and not newbie closer Vicente Padilla -- but Matt Guerrier.
This closing business is getting to be risky stuff.
Padilla was not available, said manager Don Mattingly, because of forearm stiffness.
"He was a little stiff today," Mattingly said. "We feel like he’ll probably be ready (Wednesday)."
This would be, of course, the same forearm he had surgery on in the spring.
Mattingly sounded unconcerned, but dealing with all of these injuries and reports are new to him. Padilla’s arm was stiff and he hasn’t pitched since Friday.
"Stan [Conte, team trainer] said he thinks it wasn’t the same exact spot," Mattingly said.
Same arm, same forearm… same concern?
But he labored in his last opportunity Friday, giving up a pair of runs on two hits and two walks. Of greater concern, he threw 32 pitches.
Padilla left the clubhouse Tuesday before reporters had an opportunity to speak with him.
Guerrier said the relievers knew Padilla was unavailable, but he did not know he would close until the call came to the bullpen. Guerrier pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two, to earn his first save as a Dodger. And equal the exact amount of saves he’s earned in each of the past five seasons.
The way things are going for the Dodgers’ closers, though, he just might want to stick to the eighth inning.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers closer Vicente Padilla throws a pitch during a game against the Florida Marlins on April 25. Credit: Steve Mitchell / U.S. Presswire