Elbert rounding into form at right time

Elbert rounding into form at right time

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Scott Elbert cleared another hurdle in his comeback Wednesday, pitching a scoreless inning against the White Sox while appearing for the second consecutive day.

Elbert, a starting pitcher for most of his checkered career, thus moved another step closer to landing a job in the Dodgers bullpen. Despite walking six of the first 10 batters he faced this spring, he has turned around his game while allowing only two hits in 5 2/3 innings.

He has seven strikeouts, including right-handed hitter Paul Konerko and left-handed hitter A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth inning on Wednesday after allowing a leadoff single to Alex Rios.

Successfully slowing down the game with measured breathing and other little tricks, Elbert also is rebounding from a 2010 season in which he left Triple-A Albuquerque midseason to deal with personal issues that he later said involved handling stress.

Although pitching out of jams as a situational left-hander comes with its own set of stress, Elbert is willing.

"I'm not sure of my role, but getting lefties out is my No. 1 priority," he said. "As long as it helps out the team, I'm game to do anything."