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Dodgers “absolutely” expect Vicente Padilla to pitch this year and Don Mattingly ruffled some feathers

Feb 23, 2011, 2:04 PM EDT

Vicente Padilla

Vicente Padilla is headed for surgery on a nerve in his forearm and there’s no official timetable yet for his recovery, but general manager Ned Colletti told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he “absolutely” expects Padilla to pitch for the Dodgers at some point this season.

In fact, according to Hernandez “he expressed confidence that Padilla would return from his surgery before the All-Star break.” Colletti also explained that the Dodgers knew his forearm and elbow problems presented a health risk when they re-signed Padilla to a one-year, $3 million deal that includes up to $6 million in incentives.

What’s interesting about Colletti’s optimism regarding Padilla returning before the All-Star break is that the initial word of the surgery suggested the 33-year-old right-hander would be out significantly longer and, as Hernandez writes, “rookie manager Don Mattingly’s evasive responses earlier created confusion.”

Hernandez went on to say that “in his morning briefing with reporters, Mattingly showed he had a long way to go before anyone started calling him Donnie Press Conference,” which qualifies as a pretty harsh bit of criticism from a beat reporter who’ll be relying on Mattingly for information all season. There’s been a lot of skepticism surrounding Mattingly’s managerial readiness and he certainly hasn’t helped himself any when it comes to the perception that he might be overmatched as Joe Torre’s replacement.

  1. Utley's Hair - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    So Donnie creates as much confusion as he seems to suffer from.

  2. cur68 - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Both guys need to be careful what they say. The Hern doesn’t want the Matt pissed at him and saying nada when he’s around and the Matt needs to not treat what appears to be minor radial nerve liberation from (I’m guessing) scar tissue like it’s Tommy John’s or something. Padilla will be quickly back to normal activities. Since (according to reports) the nerve itself is just trapped not damaged, he’ll actually be noticeably better immediately after surgery. All surgery isn’t a bad, Donnie.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    We’ve gone down this road before. Donnie Baseball was a great player and fan favorite. Managing is a little different and somehow…..beyond his scope.

    • phukyouk - Feb 23, 2011 at 3:38 PM

      he will not survive the whole season as manager. was a huge mistake to let him have it. Girardi is still worse.

      • Panda Claus - Feb 23, 2011 at 5:25 PM

        He’s going to have a collapse like a house of cards in a hurricane to get fired before season’s end.

  4. johnwillumsen - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    I can’t help but feel that this whole meme of Mattingly being in over his head is a bit overblown. Let’s look at it the same way we would look at stats; yes D-Ballgame has made some woofers, but hey Small Sample Size, no? It’s a fun story, but we all need to be careful of setting up a belief beforehand and then suffering from confirmation bias from here on out.

  5. hep3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    I think Ryne Sandberg was better qualified .

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