Elbert To Rehab On West Coast

Lefthander Scott Elbert has been sent from Jacksonville to Inland Empire, a move usually made because of a player's troubles at the higher level. This, however, is not at all the case for Elbert but is, rather, an example of one of the reasons why the organization switched their high A affiliate from Vero Beach to the California League.

Inland Empire is located in San Bernardino and that geographical location allows the Dodgers to do several things, among them use it for rehabilitation purposes. Elbert is currently suffering from tendinitis in his throwing shoulder and after being examined in Los Angeles, was kept on the West Coast to do his rehab.

Normally, a minor leaguer would do it in the excellent Dodgertown facilities but Elbert is hardly a normal minor leaguer and is, instead, ranked near the very top of all the pitching prospects out there. And he was throwing the ball quite well for Jacksonville before his ailment. He was a deceiving 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA. In 14 innings he's struck out 24 and batters were managing only a .128 average against him.

The cure for tendinitis is exercises and therapy, trying to avoid surgery if at all possible. Elbert will now rehab in the L.A. facilities under the guidance of Dr. Frank Jobe and Stan Conte, director of medical services. When he can go to the mound again, he can do so at Inland Empire under their eyes.

Another member of the Suns finds himself in hot water once more with the decision to suspend first baseman Cory Dunlap for seven days for violating unspecified team rules. Dunlap spent a good portion of last season in bad graces when he reported well overweight. He currently weighs closer to 240 than the 205 listed in the media guide. So far, he's hitting .244-2-9 for the Suns.

John Lindsey has taken over at first base with utility man Jimmy Rohan being activated from the disabled list where he's been all season.

At Great Lakes, another of the better pitching prospects has been sent back as the result of inconsistency. Righthander Steve Johnson began the season with a victory but has had problems getting outs since. He has a 1-2 record with a 5.74 ERA and hitters are pounding him at a .324 clip.

He's been replaced by righthander Arismendy Castillo from the extended spring camp. Castillo was 8-5, 4.59 for Columbus last year.

Also, outfielder James Tomlin has been activated from the D.L. at Inland Empire. Tomlin, a Los Angeles native, hit .301-3-37 for High Desert, a Royals farm, in the Cal League in 2006. He was signed as a free agent over the winter.

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