Wolf likely to start on Tuesday

Wolf likely to start on Tuesday

SAN FRANCISCO -- Randy Wolf is now the Dodgers' likely starter for Tuesday night against Pittsburgh after an impressive and pain-free bullpen session on Sunday morning.

Wolf, recovering from a hyperextended elbow, has made steady improvement since receiving a Wednesday cortisone injection to battle discomfort stemming from Tuesday's bullpen session in Arizona. He suffered the injury swinging a bat on Sept. 2.

"The only pitch that didn't feel good in the bullpen in Arizona was a curveball, and the first one today felt great," said Wolf, who shares the league lead with 30 starts and has been the Dodgers' most effective starter over the past month. "I let it go today, and it felt great. Another indicator is how it feels tomorrow, but I expect to feel fine. I should be ready to go Tuesday."

Manager Joe Torre agreed with that.

"If the 'pen goes well, I'm guessing he could be the starter," said Torre, who listed Charlie Haeger and Jeff Weaver as stand-by replacements.

Wolf is on a five-game win streak with quality starts in 13 of his last 14 outings. Despite suffering the injury during batting practice, two days later, he allowed the Padres two runs in seven innings for his 10th win. He's 10-6 with a 3.22 ERA and his .228 opponents batting average is seventh-lowest in the league.

"Missing one start feels like an eternity," Wolf said. "It's disappointing to miss this series [he would have started Friday night]. But to have one little hiccup is not all that bad."

Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw also reported continued improvement from his separated right (non-throwing) shoulder. For the first time since suffering the injury a week ago (running into the fence at Dodger Stadium shagging flies), Kershaw was able to play long toss and use his right arm to catch return throws.

"It's not there yet, but it's coming," said Kershaw.

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