By Evan Brunell
Two Dodger pitchers are closing in on returning to the team. Free agent signee Jon Garland will make a rehab start Sunday for the Class A affiliate. While Garland (pictured) believes he doesn't need a rehab start, the Dodgers have no interest in risking anything until they see how Garland performs in a game.
I want to pitch Sunday, but I don't think there's a chance they'll let me," Garland told MLB.com. "I guess I'm not the boss and I don't make the call. In my eyes, I'm 100 percent. If they tell me no [next time], they'll have a fight on their hands. Me and the trainers have been going back and forth."
To fill in for Garland, John Ely is expected to take the hill, but manager Don Mattingly refused to confirm that.
Meanwhile, sixth starter and reliever Vincente Padilla isn't feeling as good as Garland. His right forearm is sore, but that hasn't set his ETA back, as he is still expected to return at the end of the month.
"I'm still really optimistic he's ahead of schedule," Mattingly said. "Our best case was the end of the month and that got pushed up with a lot of excitement the way he was going, but we're still on target with him."
The Dodgers are 3-3 and so far have avoided necessitating a fifth starter, although that will change Sunday. For Ely to make that spot start, the club will need to clear a spot on the pitching staff. Ely figures to be farmed out after the game depending on Garland's rehab start.