LOS ANGELES -- Reliever Yhency Brazoban will require Tommy John elbow
reconstruction surgery and be lost for the season, the Dodgers learned
Brazoban told the club he felt the elbow go on a pitch to Jeromy Burnitz
during his one-inning outing Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Brazoban retired
Burnitz on a foul pop for the second out, and ended the inning by inducing a popup
from Craig Wilson. He underwent an MRI exam on Friday that revealed a torn
"That was the worst news," said Brazoban, speaking through an interpreter in
the clubhouse prior to Friday night's game with San Francisco. "But I have
to accept it and go through with it. It's difficult to accept because I've
never had surgery before. But it's the best thing."
Although Brazoban said the injury was suffered Wednesday, he had been
erratic in four earlier appearances, amassing a 5.40 ERA, and had been undergoing
pregame heat therapy on his entire arm, as do many pitchers.
Neither Brazoban nor manager Grady Little has learned of a timeline for the
Brazoban was shelved for two weeks during Spring Training with shoulder
tenderness. That came after he made 27 appearances during the Dominican
Winter League. Adding in his 74 appearances during the 2005 Major League
season, Brazoban pitched in 101 games last year, only his third full season
as a pitcher after beginning his career as an outfielder.
Brazoban's loss is another blow to a bullpen that learned a week ago it
would be without closer Eric Gagne for about two months with surgery to
remove a nerve near his elbow.
"Any time you lose a player you're counting on, it's a setback," Little
said. "Only time will tell the effect it will have on our ballclub."
Asked whether the absence of two power pitchers from his bullpen would intensify the loss, Little said. "It's going
to enable other guys to shoulder an additional load. They'll know we'll have
one less guy down there. But they know in the long run it's going to mean
more work for them.
"I'm not concerned with how hard they throw. We think guys will step
Brazoban was acquired with Jeff Weaver from the Yankees in the Kevin Brown
trade in December 2003. He set a franchise rookie record with 21 saves as the substitute
closer after Gagne was injured last season.
To replace Brazoban on the roster, the Dodgers activated outfielder Kenny
Lofton from the 15-day disabled list, reducing the pitching staff from 12 to
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Ted Brock is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.