|Elbert's going to have another scar on that elbow. (US Presswire)|
For the second time in five months, Dodgers left-handed reliever Scott Elbert had his elbow surgically repaired. Here's the announcement from the team...
Today, Scott Elbert underwent a left elbow arthroscopy. A new area of cartilage damage was discovered and debrided.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 23, 2013
Elbert will start physical therapy in 3 days and begin a throwing program in 6 weeks. He previously had a left elbow arthroscopy on 9/19/12.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 23, 2013
Given the time frame, it's unlikely Elbert will be ready for the start of the season in April. The 27-year-old pitched to a 2.32 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 66 innings spread across 90 appearances over the last two years. He held left-handed hitters to a .232/.305/.319 batting line during that time. Elbert dealt with nagging elbow problems in the second half last season and that was a big reason why the Dodgers acquired veteran lefty matchup guy Randy Choate from the Marlins at the trade deadline.
Los Angeles signed J.P. Howell as a free agent a few weeks ago, so he'll take over as manager Don Mattingly's primary lefty specialist. Paco Rodriguez appeared in 11 games as a September call-up despite only being drafted in June, plus Chris Capuano could shift into a relief role if the team is unable to find a trade partner in the next few weeks. Elbert having two elbow surgeries in less than six months is bad news, but the club does have plenty of lefty depth to replace him.
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