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Closer woes continue: Vicente Padilla to have neck surgery, could be lost for season

Dodgers Hope you’re liking that closer by committee or matchups or roll of the dice or whatever it is, because it doesn’t figure to change soon.

The Dodgers learned Monday they had lost their No. 3 closer, Vicente Padilla, for an extended period and possibly even the season, when it was decided he needed disk surgery in his neck.

Manager Don Mattingly said Padilla is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday.

"He’s going to be out for an extended period, it’s not one of those two-, three-week deals," Mattingly said.

He said it could even prove the end to Padilla’s season.

"It sounds like it could be," Mattingly said. "It just depends on how he comes out" of surgery.

Padilla, 33, already had forearm surgery this spring. He returned April 22, originally as a long-relief man. After injuries to closer Jonathan Broxton and reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, Padilla became the closer.

His arm, however, flared up and he returned to the disabled list May 19. He was scheduled to be activated on the first day of the Dodgers’ recently completed road trip June 3 in Cincinnati when the neck acted up again.

Padilla (three saves, 4.15 ERA) had the same bulging disk problem last season.

"Last year we gave him a shot and it took him [three weeks] to come back," Mattingly said. "We tried it again, and he wasn’t getting any relief from it."

Padilla is one of seven Dodgers to earn a save this season. They currently have no designated closer. And there is  no scheduled date for the return of either Broxton (right elbow bruise) or Kuo (anxiety disorder).

Despite Padilla's neck injury last season when he was their fifth starter, the Dodgers last winter signed him to a one-year, $2-million contract so he could act as an insurance policy for the rotation and bullpen.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers' Vicente Padilla. Credit: David Santiago / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (12)

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Has there been any reports as to Frank being able to meet payroll by Wednesday? I can only hope he doesn't.

So I guess we can forget about Padilla.

Why doesn't paDiLla just donate himself to science. . . how many times are they gonna open this guy up? (I almost expect the Crackerjack medical staff to find a prize inside.)

Since they're going back in anyway (anything left he can do without?), why not just remove the heart and nerves, transplant them into broxton, 'closer' up and (to borrow from Scully) - "we go to the 9th inning"...

Neck surgery? I never heard of that before.

And Padilla's previous teams accused him of being spineless.
Now he has indisputable medical proof to refute their charges.
Just as Rick Blaine said in Casablanca, "I stick my neck out for no one."
Padilla doesn't have to worry about pleasing his teammates anymore.

The Dodgers roster is like a MASH unit. Suicide is painless but this season is beyond mortifying!!!

Looks like this might be the end of the line for Padilla.
He gave the Dodgers his 'best shot'.

why ned signed him after all his injuries last year is beyond me. another wasted $2M. cormier, gibbons, thames (who seems to be in donnie's doghouse right now), navarro, garland, all wasted money. ned and frank should be run out of town. together they've destroyed this franchise.

Well who didn't see this coming? Oh yeah, Ned.

I like what Padilla was able to do for the Dodgers when he was healthy. He was brilliant in that playoff series against St. Louis. I wish him the best. And I wish for Ned Colletti to get fired ASAP.

Padilla WAS good for a brief time. Too bad it was brief. I hope he gets well - and then someone in the AL picks him up.

Padilla is history. Done. Forget him. Transfer your venom to the entitled idiot amateur manager.

When June 30 comes and Manny saves the Dodgers for the last time and MLB takes over, and the clock begins ticking for the dangerously imbecilic GM, don't forget to remind New Owner that Mattingly must follow the other two out the door, or he may find just enough excuses to convince New Owner to continue torturing us with more single-A on-the-job training next year.

No biggie, just as long as it does not get in the way of his extended lunch in Spain with Manny and his father. Manny will cover the meal with his 8.33 Million pay day at the end of the month. Padilla can cover the tip and start his rehab with a food fight. Ever since he stopped throwing a people his health went down the tubes.


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