Schmidt continues to make progress

Schmidt continues to make progress

PHILADELPHIA -- Jason Schmidt's winding road back to the Major Leagues is nearing the two-year mark.

But he's making progress, and that has to be encouraging to the Dodgers.

Schmidt, who had major shoulder surgery 23 months ago and a second procedure seven months ago to remove the arthritic tip of the clavicle, threw 94 pitches for Class A Inland Empire in five-plus innings Tuesday.

Schmidt then flew to Arizona to the Dodgers' training complex and was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Thursday.

"It's been a very trying time for him, because he's been frustrated knowing the pitcher that he once was," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

Schmidt has a record of 128-94 with a 3.94 ERA with the Braves, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers. He was a National League All-Star in 2003, '04 and '06. Schmidt's 2.34 ERA in '03 was the lowest in the league, and he finished second to former Dodgers closer Eric Gagne in voting for the NL Cy Young Award.

When Torre was first named as Los Angeles' manager, he was excited to inherit a player like Schmidt.

"When I came here last spring in Vero [Beach, Fla.], he started out with everybody else and was able to throw bullpen [sessions]," Torre said. "I was getting pretty excited, because I was new here and was introduced to all the guys for the first time. Then I sort of had to back off."

Torre continues to receive daily reports on the hard-throwing right-hander and is staying close to the situation.

"He's continuing to build momentum," Torre said. "Obviously, we get reports regularly. ... There may be a time we have to explore it. I think he's still a ways away."

Andy Jasner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.