10-88! Another Dodger Goes Down

There is no police '10 code' for officer down, but the Dodgers may have to come up with something (10-88 means officer needs assistance), after a third crucial member of the Los Angeles squad, stopper Eric Gagne, will have surgery today (Friday) to remove a nerve from his pitching elbow. It is his second arm operation in less than a year.

Gagne joins centerfielder Kenny Lofton and first baseman Nomar Garciaparra on the disabled list before a pitch was thrown that counted.

Josh Rawitch, Director of Public Relations, said there was no timetable for the return of Gagne, who pitched in just 14 games last season. Gagne will have the operation, this one to remove the nerve that was previously repositioned in his 2005 surgery.

When Ned Colletti traded a couple young prospects, Chuck Tiffany and Edwin Jackson, to Tampa Bay to obtain their stopper, Danys Baez, people thought he had gone a bridge too far but the Dodger GM's insurance policy was obviously worth the expenditure in talent. Baez saved 41 games last season and pitched a scoreless ninth for a save in the team's first victory of the year, a 5-4 win over Atlanta Tuesday.

"I'm very disappointed because I thought this would be behind us," Gagne said in a statement issued through the Dodgers. "It was a decision where I wanted to be 100% and be myself and enjoy it because I can't pitch with that kind of pain."

Gagne pitched in 10 games during the exhibition season, allowing five earned runs. His fastball topped out at 92 consistently and he relied on his remarkable curve. a slider and changeup most of the time. His last outing was against the Los Angeles Angels in the freeway series. He sat out a two-game suspension to start the regular season.

Rawitch said Gagne will be placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Saturday, and the Dodgers will purchase the contract of 36-year-old right-hander Takashi Saito from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Saito had a strong spring with the Dodgers and was one of the last pitchers cut from the squad. He is a 14-year veteran of the Japanese league and had an 87-78 record with the Yokohama Baystars.