The way pitcher Scott Proctor and Manager Joe Torre told the story, Proctor said nothing about the pain in his right elbow when he was told he was being optioned to triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday. Only when repeatedly questioned by Torre did Proctor crack, admitting he felt soreness that would land him on the 15-day disabled list.
Proctor was replaced on the active roster by Brian Falkenborg, whose contract was purchased by the Dodgers from Las Vegas. To clear space on the 40-man roster for Falkenborg, the Dodgers transferred backup catcher Gary Bennett from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Proctor conceded that the timing of his admission looked suspicious, but denied he made it to avoid a demotion or to explain his poor form.
“That’s the hardest part,” Proctor said. “I’d much rather have gone down and stayed quiet. I don’t like the way this looks. I don’t like excuses.”
Torre corroborated Proctor’s account, saying Proctor accepted his minor league assignment.
Proctor gave up 11 runs (eight earned) in his last 4 1/3 innings and 14 runs (11 earned) in his last 8 2/3 innings. He said he has had discomfort in his elbow for more than a month and that the pain didn’t subside between outings.
Kuroda, Penny progress
Hiroki Kuroda and Brad Penny didn’t complain of any soreness in their respective bullpen sessions, but neither pitcher will be activated this homestand.
Torre said the plan was for Kuroda to face “a few hitters” in a short simulated game Friday. Penny is slated to pitch in a longer simulated game the next day.
Kuroda could return from the disabled list “early next week,” Torre said, adding that Penny might be sent on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Kuroda will be eligible to be activated Saturday and Penny will be eligible Monday.
Another start for Park
Chan Ho Park will take Kuroda’s spot in the rotation again.
Park, who gave up a run in five innings against Cleveland on Saturday, will swap places with Chad Billingsley and pitch Friday, so that Billingsley can get an extra day between starts. Because the Dodgers didn’t play Monday, Park will be pitching on regular four days’ rest.
In his locker, Park had a few red shirts that had his name and the date “June 17, 2008" printed on the front. That was a day the Dodgers were in Cincinnati, where many families have adopted Korean children. Park said he met with a group of 40 to 50 of the children at Great American Ball Park and signed autographs for them.
Long road back
Falkenborg didn’t get to Dodger Stadium until almost 5 p.m. but was available to pitch.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in this clubhouse,” said the 30-year-old Falkenborg, who appeared in six games for the Dodgers in 2004.
Falkenborg was 0-1 with a 4.82 earned-run average in 16 games for St. Louis last season. He was closing for Las Vegas this season, with a 3.60 ERA in 35 innings. He had 13 saves.
Jason Schmidt emerged from a side session Tuesday without any tightness in his shoulder and will make a rehab start with Las Vegas in Fresno on Saturday. . . . Rafael Furcal ran on Tuesday and reported feeling no pain in his lower back the next morning. “Yesterday was a good day,” he said. . . . The Dodgers will host the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game on Aug. 9. The game will showcase 38 players who recently completed their junior years, including 10 from Southern California.