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News » NATIONAL LEAGUE 2009-04-11


NATIONAL LEAGUE 2009-04-11


NATIONAL LEAGUE 2009-04-11
Hiroki Kuroda's goal was to make it through the season without landing on the disabled list.

He couldn't make it through a week.

The Dodgers' opening-day starter was scratched from his scheduled start today in Arizona and put on the 15-day disabled list, but not because of the shoulder that bothered him most of last season. The culprit is a left oblique that he mildly strained in a bullpen session three days ago.

Left-hander Eric Stults, who posted a 9.49 earned-run average in spring training, will be recalled from triple-A Albuquerque to start today in place of Kuroda.

"I realize I've burdened the team by getting so hurt so soon after opening day," said Kuroda, who won his first start of the season in San Diego.

The move, which is retroactive to Tuesday, was described as precautionary by Manager Joe Torre and trainer Stan Conte.

Kuroda underwent an MRI exam in Los Angeles on Friday that showed no structural damage or inflammation. "I think I could have pitched," he said.

Torre said he had to have two conversations with Kuroda to convince him that he should go on the disabled list and not pitch today.

A more severe strain could have sidelined Kuroda for six to eight weeks, according to Conte. Kuroda says he expects to be ready to pitch by April 22, the first day he'll be eligible to be activated.

"That's my intention," Kuroda said.

Kuroda was supposed to start today opposite former Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb, who is also hurt. Stults will go against Yusmeiro Petit, who was 3-5 with a 4.31 earned-run average last season.

Broxton: so far, so good

More than the 99-mph fastballs he threw, Jonathan Broxton was pleased with the way he kept down his pitch counts to record his first two saves of the season.

Broxton threw 11 pitches for save No. 1 on Monday. He threw only nine pitches two days later.

Broxton's inability to have these kinds of efforts in the past was one of the reasons there were questions about whether he could withstand the rigors of closing for an entire season. Broxton is aware of that.

"It's not the innings, it's the pitches" that tire relievers, Broxton said.

Broxton, who weighs about 300 pounds, has also put a greater emphasis on conditioning to ensure he'll still be sharp late in the season. At the request of management, he started riding a stationary bicycle every day toward the end of spring training.

"I'm a big guy," Broxton said. "It doesn't hurt to get out there and work a little bit more."

What's also helped Broxton so far is that the Dodgers had three-run leads in his first two appearances. Broxton said that every one of the 20 pitches he has thrown this season was a four-seam fastball.

"It's nice when the team gives you a big lead," said Broxton, who worked on developing a two-seamer this spring. "In a one-run game, you have to be more selective."

Hudson's homecoming

Orlando Hudson introduced an element of controversy to what otherwise would have been a celebratory return to Chase Field when he told KTAR-AM in Phoenix on Thursday night that the Arizona Diamondbacks never offered him a new contract that would have extended his stay beyond last season. Hudson backtracked later in the interview, saying, "It was something that was put out there, but it was nothing interesting."

The Diamondbacks offered Hudson a four-year, $29-million deal before the 2008 season, according to the Arizona Republic.

Hudson acknowledged Friday that an offer was made by the Diamondbacks and went out of his way to praise the organization, in particular General Manager Josh Byrnes.

"It's a business," Hudson said. "I didn't leave on bad terms."

Hampered by a broken wrist and a slow free-agent market, Hudson had to settle for a one-year, $3.38-million contract with the Dodgers .

--

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 11, 2009

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