LOS ANGELES -- Brad Penny came out of his four-inning Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday ready to return to the Dodgers' rotation. Penny is slated to join the club Monday in St. Louis, where he will throw a bullpen session before returning to the mound Friday in San Francisco. The reports Dodgers manager Joe Torre got on Penny were "very good" during an outing in which he yielded four runs on six hits (three doubles) to go with four strikeouts and a walk. He threw 55 pitches (44 strikes) in 100-degree-plus weather in Oklahoma City, with his fastball clocking in at a high of 98 mph.
Depending on how hard Penny has to work in getting there, Torre said he could realistically see Penny throwing around 90 pitches against the Giants. The big right-hander has been out since June 15 with right shoulder soreness. He had lost seven straight decisions before being placed on the disabled list, having not won since May 2, which was his fourth straight victory at the time. Penny's imminent return means he will take the rotation spot of Jason Johnson, although the journeyman threw six shutout innings on Tuesday and had yet to take the mound on Sunday when that decision was made. "It's just a tough game," Torre said. "It's a cruel game, that's all it amounts to." Meanwhile, reliever Scott Proctor came away sore from Saturday's rehab appearance with high Class A Inland Empire in which he allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits. Proctor, who has been on the disabled list since June 22 with elbow tendinitis, threw 24 pitches and struck out one. Proctor will stay back while the team goes on its six-game road trip to make another rehab appearance. "We have to make sure he's not going to have a recurrence of the elbow thing," Torre said.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.