LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Broxton played catch in left field at Dodger Stadium a few hours before Monday's game against the Brewers.
It marked the first time Broxton has thrown on the field since going on the disabled list May 6 because of a bruised right elbow, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that isn't a sign that his ailing closer is starting his journey back to the bullpen.
Broxton lightly tossed the ball for a couple of minutes in the outfield as team trainer Stan Conte watched.
"It sounds like it's just a toss more than it is really trying to get to anything," Mattingly said. "Really just trying to keep his shoulder moving."
There's no timetable set for Broxton, and Mattingly didn't say what the next step would entail. But the plan is to eventually get him back to the point where he can extend himself and throw in the bullpen before a possible rehab assignment.
Broxton declined to talk after the throwing session.
Broxton showed a diminished velocity in his 14 appearances this season before being placed on the DL. In 12 2/3 innings, he's allowed eight earned runs on 15 hits and nine walks with 10 strikeouts.
Dodgers could get Furcal back in week
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal went 1-for-4 with a double and a run Sunday in his second game with Triple-A Albuquerque, but more important, he took two swings from the right side, one of the final hurdles he had to clear in his rehab for a broken left thumb.
"It sounds like the pain's gone right-handed," manager Don Mattingly said. "So we're getting to the point where he'll play every day."
Mattingly said the Dodgers are looking to get Furcal, on the disabled list since April 12, back when they head to Houston for a three-game series that begins May 23. He didn't rule out an earlier return during the Dodgers' series in Chicago this weekend, but Mattingly said Houston was the more realistic date.
Now that Furcal can comfortably switch-hit, Mattingly said the emphasis will be on getting him back to game speed over the next couple of days.
Third baseman Casey Blake, recovering from surgery on an infected left elbow, is expected to begin his own rehab assignment in Albuquerque on Friday. Los Angeles hopes to have Blake, hitting .321 in 14 games, back on the active roster when it comes back from its six-game road trip May 27.
Gibbons takes turn in left field for Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' revolving door in left field continued for a third straight day Monday, as Jay Gibbons became the third player in as many games to start there.
Unlike Jerry Sands or Tony Gwynn, however, Gibbons was supposed to be a regular at the position. Los Angeles signed Gibbons to a one-year, $650,000 deal thinking he would form the left-handed-hitting half of its platoon with Marcus Thames.
But Gibbons started the year on the disabled list while dealing with the effects of an offseason eye procedure that left him searching for the right pair of contacts.
Now, Gibbons says that his vision problems have been fixed, and he started for the third time this season but his first since May 7.
"We're going to see what that looks like," manager Don Mattingly said. "We'll keep putting the guys we feel like match up the best."
While Gibbons was out searching for better contacts, the Dodgers looked just about everywhere for consistent production in left field.
The results were not good as Dodgers left fielders are hitting .200 as a unit this season and have yet to hit a home run. Sands' average sits at .194 in the 22 games since he was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque. Gwynn, thought of as defensive replacement at the start of the season, isn't doing much better, hitting .224 in 35 games. Thames, who is hitting .176, is on the disabled list with a right quad strain.
"We need a left fielder, we need production out there," Mattingly said. "We've got to figure out a way to do that. But we can't just sit here and 'I Dream of Jeannie' and rub the jar and somebody shows up. We've got to deal with what we have. We've got to find production some way, somehow."
Gibbons is 1-for-12 in eight games but said he hopes getting a start and seeing multiple at-bats in a game will help him get into a rhythm at the plate.
And given how wide open left field appears at the moment, a few quality at-bats might be enough to make Gibbons a consistent presence in the lineup.
"They signed me here to help out in that area," Gibbons said. "I want to fulfill that and do my job. So far it's been disappointing -- more of off-the-field stuff that I can't control in not being able to play. But now I'm here and it's time to start swinging the bat."
David Ely is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.