Penny will be back Friday

Times Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- The wait is almost over for Brad Penny.

“Boring” is how the Dodgers’ opening day starter described his seven-plus weeks on the disabled list, a stretch that will end Friday when he is activated to start in San Francisco.

Penny, who was 5-9 with a 5.88 earned-run average when he was sidelined because of a sore right shoulder, hadn’t been in the same clubhouse with new teammate Manny Ramirez until Tuesday. Penny was in his home state of Oklahoma over the weekend to make a start for triple-A Las Vegas in a rehabilitation assignment. Penny said he was told by teammates about the increased energy in the Dodgers’ clubhouse that accompanied Ramirez’s arrival.

“That’s definitely the biggest move since I’ve been here,” said Penny, who is in his fourth season in Los Angeles. “It’s going to help us probably win the division. One guy can’t win the division, but we’ve got that legitimate power guy now -- and he hits for average.”


Penny said he thought he could probably throw 100 pitches Friday based on how he felt over his four innings in Oklahoma City on Saturday. He gave up two runs in six hits, and his fastball reached 98 mph.

“I didn’t expect anything different than what happened,” he said.

Penny laughingly complained about the 100-plus degree temperature and high humidity in Oklahoma.

“I haven’t played baseball there in the summer since high school,” he said. “I don’t remember it being that hot.”


The other new guy

Casey Blake was 12 for 33 (.364) with four doubles and a home run in his first eight games with the Dodgers, but it isn’t because he saw more fastballs.

“They say that in the National League, you get more fastballs, but I don’t find that to be true at all,” said Blake, who spent his entire career in the American League until being traded to the Dodgers. “They just pitch to a scouting report.”

Blake said he’s still getting used to the idea of being a Dodger.


“It’s different being around a new bunch of guys,” Blake said. “This is my first road trip with them, so that should help.”

Proctor shut down

Scott Proctor was prevented from pitching in a minor league game because of discomfort in his elbow. Proctor, who was moved to the disabled list June 25 because of tendinitis in his elbow, will be shut down for at least seven days.

Proctor threw 24 pitches in two-thirds of an inning for Class-A Inland Empire and complained of soreness the next day.


McDonald promoted

Right-hander James McDonald, the Dodgers’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2007, was promoted to triple-A Las Vegas.

The 23-year old McDonald, who was 5-3 with a 3.19 ERA in double-A Jacksonville, will make three starts for Las Vegas and spend the final two weeks of the Pacific Coast League in the bullpen, according to Assistant General Manager DeJon Watson.

By pitching out of the bullpen, Watson said, McDonald will be able to conserve his arm for a potential September call-up.


Short hops

Jason Schmidt will throw a bullpen session late this week in what could be a last-ditch effort to pitch in the majors this season. . . . Former Baltimore Orioles left-hander Eric DuBoise was signed to a minor league deal. . . . Only one player in the last 75 years has had more hits in his first three games with the Dodgers than Ramirez, who had eight. That player was McKay Christensen, who was 10 for 14 from July 21-23, 2001, upon being acquired from the Chicago White Sox.