Dodgers' De La Rosa Might Need TJ Surgery

The Dodgers know the news isn't good on Rubby De La Rosa. Just how bad will be discovered in the next couple days, after De La Rosa weighs his options. "Anytime a guy says his elbow hurts, it's kind of scary," Mattingly said Monday before Clayton Kershaw went the distance in the Dodgers' 6-2 win over the Padres in San Diego.

After the game Sunday , the bad news was revealed: De La Rosa was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The team and player will discuss the different options over the next few days, but surgery is possible. If it's Tommy John surgery, he's out 12 to 15 months.

De La Rosa needed 103 pitches to get through four innings Sunday. He told the medical staff after his outing that his elbow didn't feel right, beginning in the third inning.

"He looked different, just his body language, and he wasn't working as quickly as he normally does," Mattingly said. "His tempo was just off (Sunday)."

John Ely was called up from Class AAA Albuquerque to take De La Rosa's place on the roster. Ely is available in the bullpen for a few days, and the Dodgers will decide later who will start in De La Rosa's place Saturday. With an off day Thursday, the Dodgers actually don't need a fifth starter until Aug. 9.

The Dodgers are no doubt even more thankful that Hiroki Kuroda wasn't traded over the weekend because then they'd need to fill two spots in their rotation.

The injury didn't seem to affect De La Rosa's velocity. He hit 99 mph on the radar gun five times, and his last pitch was 97 mph. Catcher Dioner Navarro did notice, however, that De La Rosa changed his mechanics in his final two innings.

Considering the Dodgers' record and place in the standings, no chances will be taken on somebody with such a bright future.

"His last 'pen was really good, but then I heard he felt it in his last 'pen," Mattingly said. "Obviously, he didn't tell anybody. We wouldn't take any chances. But as a player, you're always feeling something, and you figure it will probably go away."

Kemp still has shot at Triple Crown Look out, National League, Matt Kemp is on fire again. Kemp went 3-for-19 with 10 strikeouts in a five-game stretch shortly after the All-Star break. If you go back to June 21, he batted .186 in 19 games with two home runs and 10 RBI.

But in the latest in a long list of ways that Kemp has improved, his slumps don't last very long anymore.

Kemp drove in five runs Friday night and became the fifth-fastest player in National League history to reach the 25-homer, 25-steals club. Kemp added an impressive diving catch as well in the Dodgers' 9-5 win over the Diamondbacks.

The slump is officially over. Kemp has hit safely in six straight games, and four of those are multi-hit games.

Kemp's batting average was an absurd .402 on April 24, dropped to .308 on May 30, rose back to .336 on June 20, dropped to .306 after July 22, and is now back up to .313 to rank seventh in the National League, 30 points behind leader Jose Reyes.

That means a Triple Crown is still a longshot unless Reyes goes into a prolonged slump. Kemp's 25 homers are second in the league (behind Lance Berkman's 27) and his 80 RBI lead the league (two ahead of Prince Fielder).

Fans, and even Kemp, have talked about the 40/40 club for years even though he's never reached the 30/30 club. This is his second entry into the 25/25 club. The first time was the previous breakthrough year of 2009, when he compiled 26 homers and 34 steals.

The fastest to reach the 25/25 club was Eric Davis, who did it in 83 games in 1987. Bobby Bonds did it in 93 games in 1973, followed by Alfonso Soriano in 97 games in 2006 and Howard Johnson in 99 games in 1989. Kemp did it in 105 games.

The 40/40 club is still possible. With 27 steals and 25 homers in 105 games, Kemp is on pace for 42 stolen bases and 39 home runs.

NOTES, QUOTES
--LHP Clayton Kershaw threw 108 pitches in his fourth complete game of the season, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out four, tying his season low, and walked two. Kershaw's winning streak is now at five games, and he's tied for the league lead with 13 wins overall. It was just what the Dodgers pitching staff needed, since four relievers were needed for five innings Sunday, and the bullpen threw 12 1/3 innings over the weekend.

--RHP Jonathan Broxton, out since May with an elbow injury, was examined over the weekend by team doctors and was scheduled to begin a throwing program Monday. Even with no setbacks, it's unlikely he would return before rosters expand in September. Broxton will be a free agent for the first time this offseason, so he has motivation to return and prove he's healthy before hitting the open market.

--RF Andre Ethier collected four singles in Sunday's game, and he went 8-for-13 in the weekend series against the Diamondbacks. His previous four-hit game was the penultimate game of the 2010 season, when he also collected four singles against Arizona. Ethier went 0-for-4 Monday in the series opener at San Diego.

--RHP Hiroki Kuroda issued a long series of "no comments" when peppered with questions about dropping his no-trade clause before he announced he would finis the season with the Dodgers. Kuroda, who starts tonight against the Padres, has remarkably similar left-right splits this year. Lefties are hitting .254 against him with a .305 on-base percentage, while righties are hitting .249 with a .302 on-base percentage.

--3B Casey Blake went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored in his second rehab game for Class A Rancho Cucamonga. It's possible that Blake will be activated from the disabled list before Saturday's game.

--RHP Carlos Monasterios, who made the Dodgers roster as a Rule 5 pick last year and pitched in 32 games, underwent Tommy John surgery last week. He has pitched just once this year at Triple-A Albuquerque. The typical rehab for the ligament-replacement elbow surgery is 12-16 months.

--RHP Kenley Jansen was released from the hospital Thursday and placed on the disabled list Friday with cardiac arrhythmia. Jansen's irregular heartbeat is gone and he's breathing normal again. After lengthy discussions with seven different cardiologists, it was decided to put Jansen on blood thinners for three weeks. If Jansen were hit in the head during that time, it's extremely dangerous. As a result, Jansen can't pitch or be on the field during batting practice or watch games from the dugout. He'll watch from the bullpen, under protective covering, with a batting helmet on. Jansen is not limited physically. He'll do his usual cardio work and throw bullpen sessions early in the day before batting practice.

--RHP Josh Lindblom was promoted from Double-A Chattanooga to replace Jansen, who was placed on the disabled list. It's the third time this year Jansen-Lindblom were involved in a transaction. Lindblom posted a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings for the Lookouts, walking three and striking out 18, since getting sent back to the minors on June 18. In eight games in the majors, Lindblom allowed two runners on 13 baserunners in 10 2/3 innings.

BY THE NUMBERS: 89.7 percent -- Stolen-base percentage by the Dodgers (26-for-29) in the month of July. That's the second-best month in Los Angeles Dodgers history. The only better month was 89.8 percent in September 1962. Jamey Carroll stole two bases Monday as the Dodgers kept up their successful base stealing.

BY THE NUMBERS: 13
-- Streak of games decided by three runs or fewer between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks that was snapped on Friday night as the Dodgers won by four runs. That was the second-longest active streak in the majors. The Diamondbacks are also involved in the longest, currently at 16 games, with the Giants.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "If he didn't have a long inning, I wanted to send him back out. Those last two, he let it go. He's having trouble with his secondary pitches. I'm concerned about anybody that's struggling. But it's like (Rafael Furcal). You know it's there. The guy that was throwing last year is there. We've got to get him back. I have to be confident to continue to use him. Our misfortune is giving us the opportunity to keep putting him in there. If we were a game back, it would be a lot harder." -- manager Don Mattingly, on using the struggling Hong-Chih Kuo more often. Kuo allowed a two-run homer in the eighth inning Sunday, three hits total and a walk, but he did strike out two.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 MEDICAL WATCH
--RHP Rubby De La Rosa (sprained ulnar collateral ligament in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 1. He might need season-ending Tommy John surgery.

--RHP Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 27. He was hospitalized after the July 26 game, and he was released from the hospital July 27.

--INF Juan Uribe (left hip strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 24.

--RHP Jonathan Broxton (bone bruise on right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 4. He threw a bullpen session June 7. He made rehab appearances on June 21 and 23 for Class AAA Albuquerque, but he felt tightness in his elbow when playing catch June 25, and he was shut down from throwing. He was cleared to begin a throwing program in early August, and he might be able to return in early September.

--RHP Vicente Padilla (right radial nerve irritation, sore neck) went on the 15-day disabled list May 14 due to the arm injury. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on May 29, but he was shut down in early June due to a neck ailment. He underwent neck surgery June 16, and he likely will miss the rest of the season.

--RHP Jon Garland (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 2. He played catch June 21 but had to shut it down quickly. He underwent season-ending surgery during the All-Star break and began his rehab.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories