Vicente Padilla to have MRI on elbow

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla left spring training and was scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles on Tuesday for an MRI exam after experiencing pain in his right elbow.

The pain is described as similar to what Padilla experienced last April before he was diagnosed with a nerve injury that sidelined him for two months.

Padilla, who is tentatively slated to begin the season in the bullpen, was examined Monday at Camelback Ranch by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who determined having an MRI was the best course of action. Results of the exam are expected Wednesday.

The Dodgers' front office made a strong effort this winter not only to improve the team's starting rotation, but also to add to its depth. The result, though, left Padilla without a spot. Last year's Opening Day starter likely would have been the first pitcher to move into the rotation if one of the five starters were to suffer an injury.

Padilla, 33, also spent 18 days on the disabled list last summer with a bulging disk in his neck. A free agent after last season, he re-signed with the Dodgers despite knowing he likely would be pushed to the bullpen. He accepted an incentive-laden, one-year contract with a $2 million base salary that represented less than half of his base from the previous year.

The Dodgers also are paying Padilla a $1 million signing bonus this year as part of the one-year, $5.025 million deal he signed with them before last season.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.