Schmidt to have shoulder surgery Wednesday; return date uncertain

TORONTO -- Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander
Jason Schmidt
will have shoulder surgery in Los Angeles on Wednesday and his
return date is uncertain.

Jason Schmidt


Starting Pitcher
Los Angeles Dodgers


"It's very discouraging," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti
said before Tuesday's game in Toronto.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who examined Schmidt on Monday, will
perform the surgery.

Right-hander Chad Billingsley (4-0) will start in Schmidt's
place against Toronto on Thursday.

"When you lose an ingredient like Jason Schmidt from the rotation, everyone else has got to step it up," manager Grady Little said after the Dodgers' 10-1 win on Tuesday.

Schmidt, who signed a $47 million, three-year contract as a free
agent during the offseason, was placed on the disabled list in
April with bursitis in his shoulder after going 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA
in three starts.

Following a 45-game absence, Schmidt returned June 5 and threw
six shutout innings in San Diego, consistently reaching 89 mph and
topping out at 91 mph.

But the 34-year-old right-hander didn't perform nearly as well
in his last two starts, and his velocity was down. He allowed three
runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Angels
on Saturday, walking four and striking out two. He is 1-4 with a
6.31 ERA.

Schmidt admitted after Saturday's game that he was still not at
full strength.

"I just haven't felt like myself," he said.

Schmidt was placed on the disabled list Monday and utilityman
Marlon Anderson was activated from the disabled list to take his
place on the roster.

Also Tuesday, the Dodgers announced that right-hander Yhency
Brazoban will have surgery Friday to repair a tear in his labrum
and will be out indefinitely.

"The timing on him coming back doesn't look that good,"
Little said.

Brazoban, who missed 29 games earlier his year because of a sore
elbow, has appeared in just four games for Los Angeles this season,
allowing three runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Chin-hui Tsao (strained shoulder) threw from flat
ground before Monday's game and was able to throw his breaking ball
without pain, Little said. A decision on his return will be made
after he throws from the mound on Wednesday.

Little also said infielder Ramon Martinez (sore back) is close
to resuming workouts and could rejoin the team in Arizona next

Despite the rash of injuries to its pitching staff, Los Angeles
is ranked second in the National League with a team ERA of 3.67.

"The pitching has been solid, whether it's the starters or the
relievers," Colletti said. "We asked the starters in the winter
to give us more innings, to give the bullpen a chance to catch its
breath once in a while, and they have."

Of greater concern to Colletti is the offense. Los Angeles has a
team batting average of .259 and has scored just 294 runs, the
fifth-lowest total in the NL.

"Our primary objective is a way to jump-start the offense,
whether it's internally with the younger players or going outside
[through a trade]," Colletti said.

Colletti said a trade would not be his first choice.

"I still find the outside a precarious endeavor," he said.
"Those players you think you might be able to acquire are
struggling through really down years, really uncharacteristic type
years, but the asking-price is still as if they were on their way
to the All-Star Game."