Torre: Padilla would be welcome in '11

Torre: Padilla would be welcome in '11

HOUSTON -- Joe Torre has had no issues with right-hander Vicente Padilla and would recommend bringing the 32-year-old veteran back next season.

Padilla, who will be a free agent after the season, was scheduled to be Sunday's starting pitcher at Houston. But on Saturday, he felt pain from a bulging disk in his neck that had put him on the disabled list from Aug. 16-Sept. 3, and will be shelved for the remainder of the season.

"I don't know what's going to happen next year, but I've certainly enjoyed the time he's been here," said Torre.

Padilla, the Dodgers' Opening Day starter, was signed for the last two months of last season. This year, he compiled a 6-5 record with a 4.07 ERA in 95 innings.

"When we got him about a year ago, there were so many stories that followed him," said Torre. "But he's been a good teammate.

"I don't think there's anybody who doesn't like what he does. It's tough to find stuff like he has. When he gets out there he can still do it. He knows what he's doing. He has not been a [negative] issue baseball-wise. I like him."