PHILADELPHIA -- When Dodgers manager Joe Torre was picking out his bullpen at the end of Spring Training, Cory Wade did not even appear on his radar. After compiling a 2.56 ERA over 52 2/3 innings since being called up on April 24, Wade has become a missed member of the bullpen as right shoulder inflammation has kept him out since Aug. 8. Wade caught the eye of bench coach Bob Schaefer in Spring Training by throwing strikes. The Dodgers called him up to see what they had and eventually saw him go from a guy who pitched in non-pressure situations to a hurler Torre and his staff have relied on late in games.
"He was a good change for us from guys coming out of the bullpen throwing 90, 95 [mph], where he can throw 90, but he has a good curveball and a changeup," Torre said. "He helped our variety." Wade is on track to return as early as Wednesday. His schedule calls for a bullpen session Saturday and then a rehab inning or two on Monday that was slated for Double-A Jacksonville, but could be moved to Class A Great Lakes because of possible inclement weather in the Southeast. While Wade rehabs, Torre said the rest of the bullpen would be available on Friday night against the Phillies, although righty Chan Ho Park could get another day off after pitching two innings on Wednesday. Torre could be in for a long night from his bullpen with Greg Maddux on the mound, a pitcher who usually does not go more than six innings. The thing about Maddux is he's been around, he's been doing this so long that it's not usually a surprise whether it's pitch count or just watching how hard it could be from time to time doing what he does," Torre said. "From my understanding, he's very honest about that stuff." As for the rest of the injured Dodgers, rehabbing outfielder Andruw Jones (left knee) will take another couple of days before returning to action for Triple-A Las Vegas. Right-hander Jason Schmidt (right shoulder surgery) is on track to pitch an inning in the Minors next week after twice having rehab stints delayed. Righty Brad Penny will start playing catch in the next day or two after taking off about 10 days to rest his sore right shoulder. Closer Takashi Saito is just throwing on flat ground, so the team won't speculate about his potential return before he pitches off a mound.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.