Notes: Penny accepts suspension

Notes: Penny accepts suspension

CHICAGO -- After a telephone consultation with Players Association assistant general counsel Bob Lenaghan on Tuesday night, Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny accepted his five-game suspension Wednesday and a reduction in the $2,000 fine he was assessed for his July 14 ejection.

Penny had geared up for a morning appeal hearing before an arbitrator in an attempt to get a reduction of the games he would sit out and avoid missing a start. Instead, he began serving the suspension immediately and will miss his scheduled start Sunday in Colorado, with Edwin Jackson picking up the assignment. Penny will next start Tuesday at home against the Giants.

"They called me last night and said [the union] didn't like our chances, because they just lost two hearings like mine," said Penny. "They said we really had no chance."

The decision forced manager Jim Tracy to juggle his rotation to assure that Penny, Derek Lowe and Jeff Weaver would pitch five of the six remaining games against San Diego. D.J. Houlton will pitch the other game Sept. 9.

Carrara returns to LA: Reliever Giovanni Carrara left the club and returned to Los Angeles after learning that his 2-year-old son had to be hospitalized for a third time this summer after experiencing convulsions. Tracy said it was not known if Carrara would rejoin the club in Denver this weekend.

Hurricane fallout: Disabled catcher Paul Bako, recovering from knee surgery at his Lafayette, La. home, has text messaged several teammates and club officials to report that his area survived Hurricane Katrina with minimal damage. Bako lives approximately 135 miles west of New Orleans.

Amateur scout Dennis Moeller was not as fortunate. He was reported safe, but his Slidell, La., home was destroyed. Moeller pitched briefly in the Major Leagues with Kansas City and Pittsburgh in 1992-93.

Injury update: Outfielder J.D. Drew reported continued soreness in his broken wrist, but he resumed hitting off a tee Tuesday.

Shortstop Cesar Izturis reported progress in his lower back sprain, but is limited to treadmill work and flexibility exercises.

Pitcher Wilson Alvarez is throwing long-toss to 120 feet, but has not tested his shoulder off a mound.

Odalis Perez, sidelined indefinitely with a bad shoulder, still has not resumed any baseball activity.

September callups: Tracy said the club will add two Minor Leaguers on Friday, but would not name them. Rosters may expand to 40 on Thursday. Among the most likely promotions is Jacksonville reliever Jonathan Broxton. Another possibility is Jacksonville outfielder Todd Donovan, whose 60 stolen bases qualify him as a valuable pinch-running candidate on a team that lacks speed. Donovan would need to be added to the 40-man roster. Donovan was acquired in a Minor League trade with San Diego in April.

Fall League reps announced: Several of the system's top prospects will represent the Dodgers on the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League, which will be managed by Class A Vero Beach skipper Scott Little. Players selected were pitchers Jackson, Chad Billingsley and Greg Miller; infielders Tony Abreu and Andy LaRoche and outfielder Matt Kemp. First baseman James Loney is on the taxi squad and will be eligible to play two days a week.

Hochevar update: The club might learn Thursday night if unsigned top draft pick Luke Hochevar will return to school Friday, in which case the club would lose his negotiating rights. Friday is the deadline for University of Tennessee students to begin attending classes.

On deck: After a day off Thursday, Weaver opens a three-game series against the Rockies in Denver on Friday night. He outlasted Roger Clemens in Sunday's tense duel with eight scoreless innings, 10 strikeouts and no walks. He's the staff workhorse and he's pitching to impress, with free agency on the horizon.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.