Dodgers put Vicente Padilla on DL

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers placed closer Vicente Padilla on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with lingering discomfort in his surgically repaired right elbow. The move is retroactive to May 14, the day after his last appearance.

The team recalled right-hander Ramon Troncoso from Triple-A Alburquerque to fill Padilla's spot on the roster.

Padilla underwent surgery on Feb. 24 in hopes of finally resolving an issue that had been plaguing him for almost a year. The procedure involved freeing a radial nerve that was trapped under a muscle on the top of his forearm.

Dodgers trainer Stan Conte described Padilla's current injury as something that would be "expected" in the recovery from that surgery.

"He's going to have this nerve irritation once in a while," Conte said. "It's just the nature of the injury. Although the surgery released the pressure on the nerve, it takes a long time to get 100 percent.

"That doesn't mean he can't pitch; it just means it's not all that unusual to see some irritation."

The Dodgers had initially hoped to avoid placing Padilla on the DL, but opted to take a conservative approach instead. They expect him to be fully recovered when he's eligible to be activated on May 29.

"He's improved, but we think with this particular thing, it's better to put him on the 15-day DL to sort of give him a standing eight count," Conte said.

The Dodgers are already without their top two relievers. Closer Jonathan Broxton is on the DL with a bone bruise in his right elbow while left-handed setup man Hong-Chih Kuo is out indefinitely as he deals with an anxiety disorder.

Manager Don Mattingly said right-handers Matt Guerrier and Kenley Jansen would assume the closer's duties while Padilla is on the DL. Mike MacDougal could also close, but he is behind Guerrier and Jansen in the pecking order.

Conte said that Broxton is still "a couple weeks away." He is on a throwing regimen, but is being limited to throwing about 60-65 mph to reduce the stress on his elbow.

Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.