Notes: Wolf gets bad news

Notes: Wolf gets bad news

LOS ANGELES -- Derek Lowe's Wednesday bullpen test of his injured left hip took on greater significance Tuesday with news that disabled starter Randy Wolf will be out at least another month, and possibly the rest of the year, with continued shoulder problems.

Wolf had another MRI Tuesday that revealed capsulitis in the same shoulder that was diagnosed a month ago with bursitis. There were no tears of the rotator cuff or labrum. Wolf was told by Dr. Lewis Yocum and Dr. Neal ElAttrache that the condition should respond to medication, strengthening and stretching exercises.

He admitted he rushed back from the first injury and returned to the field before he was 100 percent healed.

"I'm pretty down. I'm frustrated," he said. "The main thing I have to do is get it right. I didn't do that the first time."

Which is no surprise, really, because Wolf tried to pitch for two years with the pain of a torn elbow ligament that ultimately required Tommy John reconstruction.

Wolf was on an aggressive rehab program after being disabled July 4, planning to return after 2 1/2 weeks of therapy, one bullpen session and one Minor League rehabilitation start. During that start last Wednesday at Class A Inland Empire, however, Wolf said he had trouble loosening up, then experienced pain in a new area hours after he was finished.

"I want to get back this year, but I'm not going to do something stupid," he said. "We rushed it. We went too fast. Now there's inflammation in the joint and it needs to go away. I'll take some of the responsibility. I know I didn't feel perfect before I started throwing, but I felt okay. That's probably the reason I had the setback."

Wolf said he cannot resume playing catch for a minimum of two weeks, but definitely not until the inflammation is completely gone.

Lowe on tap: If Lowe passes his bullpen test Wednesday, he is scheduled to start Saturday. Lowe has irritation in his left hip or groin area, which forced him out of his start Wednesday night in Houston and led to him missing a start Tuesday night for the first time in his Major League career.

Lowe has said he's optimistic his injury is not serious and that he will start Saturday. If not, the Dodgers plan to recall Eric Stults to make the start and Lowe might require surgery.

"We are being cautious," said manager Grady Little. "There is irritation in there."

Kent out: Jeff Kent, who strained a hamstring in the ninth inning Sunday, was out of the lineup Tuesday night and figures to miss a few more games, but the injury is not believed serious enough to require placement on the disabled list.

"It's all right," said the 39-year-old. "Yesterday I came in here and it was tight, but the leg is doing all right. It's not as good as I hoped, not as bad as I thought. It feels a lot better today. I don't know how long, but I know it won't be long."

Ramon Martinez started at second base and Luis Gonzalez moved up to cleanup.

A new blister: Add Brett Tomko, Thursday night's starting pitcher, to the list of Dodgers pitchers battling finger blisters. Tomko's developed in the sixth inning of his losing start in Colorado on Saturday. He said it bothered him on a few pitches in that game, but he made it through a bullpen session Tuesday with no problems.

Tomko joins Lowe, Brad Penny and Chad Billingsley who have dealt with finger blisters in the last month. What's up with that?

"El Nino," said Tomko.

Young arrives, LaRoche not far behind: Delwyn Young was promoted to take Wilson Betemit's spot on the bench and general manager Ned Colletti said that third baseman Andy LaRoche, who is on a home run tear, has the front office taking notice.

"He's pretty close to earning his way up," Colletti said of LaRoche. "We feel he's on the verge. Whether when he comes up and plays full-time, that's not my decision."

Young said he was surprised when he got the call from Triple-A Las Vegas manager Lorenzo Bundy that he was going to the big leagues.

"It caught me off-guard," said Young.

Moment of silence: Before Tuesday night's game, the Dodgers held a moment of silence in memory of Bill Robinson, their Minor League hitting coordinator who died Sunday.

Coming up: Mark Hendrickson (4-5, 4.58 ERA) opposes the Giants' Tim Lincecum (6-2, 3.90) on Tuesday night.

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