LOS ANGELES -- You won't hear a Major League manager say it often: Joe Torre was just happy to be there.Torre's horse, Homeboykris, finished 16th in the 136th Kentucky Derby on Saturday afternoon. Torre, who owns several horses, bought a 10 percent stake in the 50-to-1 longshot in October, but he knew his horse had only an outside chance and had no way of predicting what kind of effect the sloppy conditions would have. "We didn't know. He hasn't run that much to really get a feel of what his strengths are," Torre said. "On his mom's side, there are a couple wins in the mud. His mother was a mudder. The fact that we were in there was really what our goal was, and we realize that." Some of the camera angles threw Torre for a loop, and the overall speed of the race made it hard for him to keep track of Homeboykris. Calvin Borel rode Super Saver to Borel's third Derby win in four years. "He wasn't afraid of the rail with the mud," Torre said. "He just ran an amazing race. Though it's not his decision, Torre said Homeboykris will likely not participate in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, in two weeks because the horse hadn't been conditioned to run with such frequency.
Weaver ready for rehab appearance
LOS ANGELES -- After a successful simulated three innings on the Dodger Stadium mound on Saturday afternoon, injured reliever Jeff Weaver is scheduled to make a rehab appearance with the high-Class A Inland Empire 66ers in San Bernardino, Calif., on Tuesday.Weaver, 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA and just one strikeout in nine appearances this season, went on the disabled list with a right lower back strain on April 22. He'll reenter the late-inning fray when he returns, though not on back-to-back days to start, manager Joe Torre said. "To me, he does so well in clutch situations for us so, he'd be a guy that you'd bring out of the bullpen to get out of an inning, jam-type thing," Torre said. "Or pitch an inning, start an inning, depending on where we are in the game. In essence, I'm telling you we trust him. And I think he earned that last year." Weaver threw 45 pitches on Saturday. The 33-year-old said he has had back pain before, but as a starter he had days off to work through it. What separated this flareup from one he's had in the past is that it came on one pitch. "After about the third day [after the injury], everything got back to normal," Weaver said. Torre said he does not have plans to return Weaver to the rotation, even with Vicente Padilla hurt and the fifth spot in the rotation up in the air.
Torre touts DeWitt's early season play
LOS ANGELES -- The hardest part about last season for Dodgers second baseman Blake DeWitt wasn't the constant shuttling between the Minors and the big leagues, though that wasn't fun. It was sitting at home and watching the playoffs, which he'd been a part of the season before."That's the toughest part if you want to be there and help the team win," said the 24-year-old DeWitt, whom manager Joe Torre said is one of the quietest players on the team. "He is quiet and professional," Torre said. "He's really a pro that for a little as he's played, he's impressed the heck out of me and everybody else. He was like a Mike Lowell-type." Saturday was DeWitt's 168th career game in the Majors. The team's second baseman to start the season, a position Torre said wasn't handed to him, DeWitt perfectly executed a hit-and-run in Friday night's 6-2 victory over the Pirates, and wound up on second base before the play was over. DeWitt was batting .263 and was 3-for-7 on the Dodgers' homestand entering Saturday's action. A rarity for a left-handed hitter, he's faring much better against southpaws (.364) than he is against right-handers (.239). DeWitt has two errors and is in line with the rest of the Dodgers' middle infielders, but on defense is where DeWitt may still have the most to gain. He made an ill-advised throw from second base in a double-play attempt on Friday. "Those are the types of things that could get you hurt," Torre said, "trying to turn the ball when that guy is coming on and you have no chance at the guy at first. It doesn't mean that he's failing, it's a work in progress, I guess."
Belisario makes efficient turnaround
LOS ANGELES -- Reliever Ronald Belisario did not allow a baserunner in 1 2/3 innings on Friday night in the Dodgers' 6-2 win over the Pirates, two days after he gave up two runs in two innings against the Mets.It took Belisario just 18 pitches, 10 for strikes, to get five outs over the seventh and eighth innings Friday. Manager Joe Torre said he should be available to pitch Saturday against the Pirates because of Friday's efficiency. "Last night was the best he's been since he's come back," Torre said. "The velocity was up, his movement was amazing." Belisario's 2.03 ERA in 69 games last season was the second lowest for a rookie reliever in the Majors.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.