The Los Angeles Dodgers have suffered their first significant injury of spring training today, as Vicente Padilla is returning to Los Angeles to have an MRI on his right elbow. Padilla missed 51 games last season with an irritated ulnar nerve in that same right elbow, as he was on the disabled list from April 23 to June 19. The Dodgers expect MRI results on Wednesday.
Padilla also missed significant time last season with a bulging disc in his neck, making just one start after August 15, and those injury concerns led to him signing an incentive-laden contract to return to the Dodgers this winter. Padilla signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers on December 9 with a 2011 base salary of $2 million, plus incentives for both starting and relieving that can total up to $9 million more. Padilla is expected to begin the season in a relief role, as the Dodgers have a full starting rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, and Jon Garland, but Padilla is also expected to give the Dodgers depth should one of their starters get injured.
Padilla was signed by the Dodgers in August 2009 after getting released by the Texas Rangers. He has had success in Los Angeles, as he is 10-5 with a 3.82 ERA in 24 games as a Dodger, including 23 starts. Padilla was 6-5 last year with a 4.07 ERA in 95 innings.
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