The right-handed reliever has been slowly recovering from the shoulder irritation he experienced at the end of May. The 25-year-old has chronic shoulder issues, but his attitude after a 45-pitch pregame side session on Friday was a great comfort to Little.
"It's really most rewarding to see him smile and not having any pain," Little said. "[But] we've got to give him one more time off the side."
The Dodgers will wait until Saturday to check back with Tsao, but they're not anticipating any problems. From there, Tsao will throw a final bullpen session either Sunday or Monday, and then head off to one of the team's Minor League affiliates. Where that will be, Little said, he wasn't yet positive.
Tsao represents another ailment to a pitching staff that's seen just three members of the rotation make more than 15 starts. Two more have eight starts, one has made six, one four and Chad Billingsley has made a single start.
It's frustrating, Little said, but it's baseball.
"It comes with the territory," he said. "When you play baseball like we do ... whatever happens, you've got to deal with it and you've got to move forward. The schedule is going to continue on."
Lots of familiar faces: The Dodgers have three former Rays on their current roster. They include Mark Hendrickson, who played with Tampa Bay from 2004-06, Marlon Anderson (2003) and Joe Beimel (2005). In addition, Luis Gonzalez makes his offseason home in Tampa.
It's a similar story in the other dugout, as Dioner Navarro played for Los Angeles in 2005 before he was traded to Tampa Bay midway through the 2006 season. Edwin Jackson (2003-05) also came from the Dodgers to the Rays, as did Jae Seo, who's now pitching at Triple-A Durham.
Don Zimmer, the Rays' senior adviser, was a member of the 1955 World Series champion Dodgers squad that will be honored on Saturday night.
Turn Back the Clock: Both teams will don throwback jerseys on Saturday night as part of the celebration of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. The current Dodgers will wear replica jerseys from 1955, while the Rays will sport threads identical to those of the 1950s-era St. Petersburg Saints of the Florida State League.
In addition to a Zimmer bobblehead giveaway to the first 15,000 fans, a trio of Zimmer's 1955 teammates will also be on hand to sign autographs. The group includes Hall of Famer Duke Snider, as well as Johnny Podres and Carl Erskine.
Jerseys from both teams will be auctioned off in a postgame auction.
Here's the question: Juan Pierre has stolen a Majors-best 341 bases since 2001, 84 more than runner-up Ichiro Suzuki. Who's third on the list?
Quick hits: The Dodgers' win on Thursday over the Jays clinched the first Interleague road series win for L.A. since July 2-4, 2004, against the Angels. ... Nomar Garciaparra has 15 career home runs against the Rays, the second-highest total he holds against any team. The first baseman was given a day off on Friday. ... Beginning Friday, Southern California Del Tacos will give a collector's edition cup to anyone ordering a Macho-size drink. The cups feature either Fernando Valenzuela, Derek Lowe or Russell Martin.
Down on the farm: Triple-A Las Vegas went up 9-0 and survived a late rally to defeat Colorado Springs, 10-7, on Thursday. Left-fielder Wilkin Ruan went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in the contest. ... The Double-A Suns won their eighth and ninth straight games, as they swept Carolina, 4-1 and 1-0, in a doubleheader. ... Class A Great Lakes southpaw Clayton Kershaw was named to the 2007 Futures Game on Thursday. The 19-year-old, who's posted a 7-2 record and 1.89 ERA in the first half for the Loons, is the youngest player on the USA roster.
And the answer is: Rays left fielder Carl Crawford sits just nine steals behind Ichiro, having swiped 246 bases since the 2001 season.
Up next: The Dodgers return to Tropicana Field on Saturday for the second game of a three-game series against the Rays. Left-hander Randy Wolf (8-5, 4.24 ERA) will toe the rubber for Los Angeles, and Tampa Bay will counter with southpaw Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.10). First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. PT.
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.