LOS ANGELES -- Xavier Paul had to have his head examined Saturday night in Salt Lake City, but Tuesday night he was in the starting lineup for the Dodgers after being recalled to replace injured right fielder Andre Ethier, who hit the disabled list earlier in the day.Paul was playing catch with JD Closser before his Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes were to play Salt Lake City when Chin-lung Hu reached over for a throw that glanced off Hu's glove and hit Paul square on the left jawbone below the temple. He started the game anyway, but after reaching base, was woozy running the bases and left the game for a precautionary CAT scan that was negative. "It drilled me in the side of my head," said Paul. "It shook me up. I was dazed, seeing double for a while. I played the next inning but didn't feel right. I feel fine now." Especially that he's back in the Major Leagues, 11 days after being sent down when Manny Ramirez was activated off the DL. In his first stint, Paul scored eight runs with three steals in nine games and hit .276. He played nine innings Monday, just to be sure there were no lingering effects. "It's good to be back, but unfortunate for the team because of Andre," he said.
Ely proving to be a control freak
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers right-hander John Ely has a ridiculous 8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio after four Major League starts and a radar gun won't explain how it's happening.But Ely, who has only three walks in 25 2/3 innings -- and none to his last 84 batters -- can. "I've been working on it ever since I started pitching," Ely said of the pinpoint command. "It develops over time. I'm able to hit my spots while I've been up here." Ely credits Miami (Ohio) University pitching coach Ben Bachmann and Double-A Birmingham pitching coach J.R. Perdew with helping him not only throw strikes, but to specific areas. "I try to throw to certain sections instead of the whole plate," Ely said. "I try to keep the ball within a small zone as opposed to a big zone. I just focus on the catcher's glove. Russ [catcher Russell Martin] has been phenomenal back there. He does all the thinking and I just focus on the throwing and I can keep my focus just on that." Ely said he hasn't thought much about the fact that he's been even more efficient at the Major League level than he was in three-plus seasons in the Minor Leagues. "I just do what I've been doing," he said. "If I start thinking too much about doing things right, that's when they'll go wrong. I'm just doing one thing at a time. And I better keep doing it or I'll be back in Triple-A in no time."
Padilla's recovery smoother than Furcal's
LOS ANGELES -- Injured Dodgers Rafael Furcal and Vicente Padilla had differing updates Tuesday.Furcal said he can still feel the left hamstring strain and no decision has been made on when he will try another injury rehab assignment. Furcal played two games with Class A Inland Empire last week, but could not declare himself 100 percent healed. Padilla, however, threw hard off a mound for the first time since being placed on the disabled list on April 23 with an irritated radial nerve in his right arm and reported no discomfort. Padilla made 20 throws, all fastballs, and will probably skip the next two days before trying it again. Trainer Stan Conte said the injury is unusual for pitchers and it is not clear what caused it, so his return to pitching will progress conservatively. Regardless, he is not expected back until sometime in June.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.