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Dodgers lose Vicente Padilla to elbow surgery, out indefinitely

Vicente Padilla

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Vicente Padilla, right, paces on the mound after allowing a three-run home run to Atlanta Braves’ Troy Glaus in the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010, in Atlanta. Braves’ Alex Gonzalez, background left, rounds third base. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


And just like that, the Dodgers’ impressive rotation depth is no more.

Vicente Padilla returned to Los Angeles to have an MRI exam on his sore right elbow and the news isn’t good, as the Dodgers announced today that he’ll undergo surgery “to free up a nerve that is entrapped in his forearm.”

There’s no timetable yet for Padilla’s recovery, but the surgery will be performed tomorrow and he’s clearly going to miss an extended period of time. He spent two months on the disabled list with elbow problems last year as well, which played a part in his accepting just $3 million in guaranteed money to re-sign this offseason.

Padilla’s loss may not have a huge impact on the Dodgers unless another starter goes down, as he was slated for the bullpen initially with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, and Jon Garland ahead of him on the rotation depth chart. Padilla had a 3.31 ERA in 12 starts after returning from the DL in mid-June and the 33-year-old right-hander went 32-19 with a 4.49 ERA in 413 innings overall during the previous three seasons.