Dodger Pitchers Improving

It isn't too far and it isn't too hard but Greg Miller has started to throw again. The most celebrated of the Dodgers currently rehabilitating injuries, has moved to another stage of his return by throwing softly over a short distance.

"You've got to start somewhere," he noted about his recovery from arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder performed over a month ago. "I hope to be able to throw from a mound in a couple of weeks. It still hurts some, some days I move forward, some back but it's all part of the process. "

But righthander Brian Pilkington, another of the more touted young Dodger pitchers, also has arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder and will miss the entire season. "They tightened up some muscles that were too loose" he reported. "They told me I couldn't throw for four or five months so this season is out. I have to look on it that things happen for a reason and make the best of it."

Both are currently rehabbing in the Dodgers' Vero Beach facilities where Hong-Chi Kuo, the Taiwanese lefthander, has finished his work and reported to Columbus for his first competition in over a year. Kuo had second Tommy John surgery on his left elbow early last spring and not only didn't pitch at all last summer, but has been able to get in only 14 games stretched over four seasons.

Still another lefthander, Eric Stults, who had a fine rookie year in 2002 but who wound up undergoing surgery after only 10 games in 2003, is back in action, throwing two innings of an extended camp game against the Expos Monday.

In further injury news involving pitchers, Jonathan Broxton, who missed one turn with Vero Beach, because of some soreness, should be able to make his next scheduled start. Another Vero righthander, Jarod Plummer, who has been shut down for two weeks because of a tired arm, is expected to be able to take his turn again as well.

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