Erickson Sits; Perez to DL
Despite uncertainty about the health of Odalis Perez, the Dodgers demoted Scott Erickson to the bullpen Sunday, creating two holes in the starting rotation.
Perez will be placed on the disabled list today or Tuesday because of shoulder pain. The left-hander did not throw the bullpen session he had scheduled because he felt pain playing catch Saturday.
Wilson Alvarez will make his first start of the season Wednesday at San Francisco, but the Dodgers aren’t certain who will start Saturday at Arizona, the next time a fifth starter is needed.
All that is clear is that it won’t be Erickson, who is 1-4 with a 7.22 earned-run average in eight starts.
“He’s going to the bullpen until further notice,” Manager Jim Tracy said. “I’m interested to see where this will go. It lets him start clean.”
Erickson has had success the first time through an opponent’s lineup, usually getting a succession of groundouts.
“That’s a reason for optimism,” pitching coach Jim Colborn said. “Also, his arm is resilient. I think he could pitch in several games in a row.”
Candidates to start include reliever Duaner Sanchez, who Tracy has said could eventually become a starter; rookie D.J. Houlton, who hasn’t gone more than two innings this season; and veteran Pat Mahomes, who has pitched well at triple-A Las Vegas.
Promoting Mahomes would require the Dodgers to drop a player from the 40-man roster. Bringing up a reliever such as Steve Schmoll or Franquelis Osoria would be an indication that Sanchez or Houlton was in line to start.
Elmer Dessens, sidelined since April 20 because of shoulder pain, had another strong bullpen session but will not be activated for about two weeks.
Top prospect Edwin Jackson is not being considered because he has struggled at triple A.
Left fielder Jayson Werth, whose triple-A rehabilitation assignment ends Wednesday, played several days in a row and his injured wrist gave him no problems.
Beyond the positive medical reports, however, Tracy would like to see something else from Werth -- extra-base hits. He is batting .316 in 38 at-bats but all 12 hits are singles.
“I’d like to at least see a double,” Tracy said.
Werth might be asked to extend his rehabilitation assignment.
“To bring him to the big leagues when his mechanics are out of whack, that’s a tremendous compromise of a player,” Tracy said.
Jason Grabowski will begin his rehabilitation assignment at Las Vegas today. Tracy said the utility player will play segments of games until his sore shoulder is strong enough for him to play nine innings. ... All three games against the Angels were sellouts and the announced three-day attendance of 162,013 was the largest for a freeway series at Dodger Stadium.