Dodgers' bullpen to get a boost with Baez

Reliever expected to join team next week in Chicago

Dodgers' bullpen to get a boost with Baez

DENVER -- Reliever Pedro Baez is expected to come off the disabled list in time to join the Dodgers during their upcoming series in Chicago against the Cubs.

Baez suffered a bruised pitching thumb on a comebacker while pitching live batting practice Feb. 22. His first game appearance was Friday night for Triple-A Oklahoma City, a perfect 15-pitch inning.

Manager Dave Roberts said Baez was scheduled to pitch again Saturday night, his first back-to-back assignment, and "if all goes well, we expect him in Chicago at some point."

The Dodgers play the Cubs three times over four days, beginning Monday.

Roberts said Scott Kazmir, on the disabled list with an unspecified left hip injury, threw 45 pitches over three innings on Saturday at Camelback Ranch-Glendale in Arizona in either a simulated or camp game.

"He says he feels good," said Roberts. "He'll throw a bullpen in a couple days. He's progressing. How rapidly, I don't know. His return, I don't know."

Roberts said Rich Hill, on the disabled list with a finger blister, will continue playing catch to keep his shoulder loose, but will hold off on a bullpen session that might irritate the blister.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.