The Los Angeles Dodgers have already lost Chris Withrow to Tommy John surgery and Chad Billingsley to season-ending surgery to repair the torn flexor tendon in his right elbow.
However, they may be just a few weeks away from gaining a pitcher. General manager Ned Colletti discussed his desire to improve the bullpen and Scott Elbert may factor into that.
Elbert has undergone three elbow procedures and last pitched in the Majors 22 months ago. The left-hander joined the Ogden Raptors as part of his rehab assignment and threw a bullpen session Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
With plenty of time to work on his delivery, Elbert has made adjustments, according to Ken Gurnick and Michael Lananna of MLB.com:
I’m not throwing across my body as much,” he said. “I’ve had all the time in the world to work on that. I’m able to command both sides of the plate easier. I’m just happy to be back on the mound.”
Don Mattingly discussed the progress Elbert has made in his recovery:
I’m happy with Scotty’s progress,” Mattingly said. “We’ve talked about it a number of times — it’s been awhile now where everything’s been pretty much positive. There hasn’t been any negatives. He hasn’t skipped a ‘pen. He’s been moving along.”
Since debuting with the Dodgers in 2008, Elbert has pitched in 120 games for a total of 91.1 innings. Adding Elbert to the bullpen would give the Dodgers a fresh arm, but doesn’t necessarily solve their late-inning troubles.
Setup man Brian Wilson and closer Kenley Jansen have been inconsistent, however as of late Jansen appears to have resolved his issues. Adding Elbert to the fold will require some shuffling of the deck as the Dodgers will need to clear a spot on the 25-man roster.
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