Loaiza on DL; Will Kershaw Get the Call?

Esteban Loaiza was placed on the disabled list after suffering tightness in his shoulder blade. The move was retroactive to Sunday, the day after he couldn't hold a six-run lead in Colorado and was lifted in the third inning of a game the Dodgers eventually won. This might result in Chan Ho Park getting the start against Anaheim next week or the promotion of Clayton Kershaw from Jacksonville.

The Dodgers are expected to call up Yhency Brazoban from Las Vegas for the start of a three-game series Friday against the Houston Astros. He was sent to the minors at the beginning of the season to strengthen his arm. The former closer has pitched sparingly in the last two seasons because of arm trouble, having undergone Tommy John surgery in 2006 and season-ending shoulder surgery last June.

Brazoban, 27, who gave up six runs in 3.2 innings in spring training, started the season with Jacksonville. He posted a 2.53 earned-run average in 10.2 innings and was moved to Las Vegas, where he gave up a grand slam to the first man he face but was charged with only one run. He has pitched four innings for the 51s.

There is speculation that Clayton Kershaw, 20, could replace Brazoban or another reliever on the active roster the next time the Dodgers need a fifth starter -- probably on May 17 against the Angeles.

The spot belonged to Loaiza, whose move to the disabled list is retroactive, making him eligible to be activated May 18. Hong-Chih Kuo has also pitched in that role, but Manager Joe Torre said he wants Kuo to remain in the bullpen. Chan Ho Park is another solid option.

A place for Kershaw on the 40-man roster can be opened by moving Jason Schmidt from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list. Asked Wednesday about the possibility of Kershaw's being called up, Torre replied, "You'll have to wait and see."

The left-handed Kershaw was sensational during spring training, posting an ERA of 0.64 in 14 innings and striking out 19. He was 0-3 in his first six starts with Jacksonville, due to lack of run support, and had 36 strikeouts in 32.1 innings to go with a 1.11 ERA.

Upon orders from the Dodgers, Kershaw made his season debut as a reliever and threw only eight pitches in a perfect fifth last night. He is slated to start for Jacksonville on Monday, five days before the opening in the Dodgers' rotation.

Loaiza said he first felt the tightness in his shoulder playing catch Tuesday. He said he didn't feel any discomfort when throwing Wednesday and that he protested his move to the disabled list.

"I feel fine," he said. "I want to pitch. I want to be out there and throwing. But they want me to get better," Loaiza said. "They don't want me to get hurt because they really need me. And I really do want to be here and not be like last year."

Loaiza is 0-1 with an 8.74 ERA in three starts this season. He gave up five runs and lasted only 2.1 innings in his start Saturday in Colorado.

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