Dodgers pitcher Scott Elbert has been on a minor league rehabilitation assignment for two weeks while recovering from a pair of offseason shoulder surgeries, but the left-handed pitcher is closer to rejoining the Dodgers. Elbert will pitch on Saturday and Sunday for Double-A Chattanooga, his first back-to-back outings of the rehab assignment.
"We're just talking about probably one hitter (each game), just enough to get him up and get loose, get him into a game, and see if he can bounce back from that," said manager Don Mattingly.
Elbert allowed a home run on Thursday night but picked up the save for Double-A Chattanooga, in his sixth minor league rehab game. In six minor league games, three with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and three with the Lookouts, Elbert has a 3.00 ERA in six innings, with four hits allowed, one walk and six strikeouts.
His previous outings came with two days rest three times and one day rest twice. Velocity was a concern with Ethier but he has improved in his last few outings.
"It's getting there. The last email I saw was 90-92 (mph), and that's pretty much his range. His slider was 86-88," Mattingly said.
After a pair of disabled list stints after the All-Star break in 2012, Elbert had arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow on Sept. 19, then had to have another procedure on Jan. 23. His comeback during spring training suffered a setback and he had an injection of platelet-rich plasma on Mar. 25.
Elbert could be activated as soon as next week against the Angels, but Mattingly stressed that they don't want to rush him back.
"I know Scotty is getting anxious," Mattingly said. "The biggest thing is that he hasn't pitched in a long time. We want to make sure he's ready."