Dodgers Sign Vincente Padilla

Vincente Padilla

Hiroki Kuroda was placed on the 15-day DL with a concussion after being hit in the head by a line drive Saturday in Arizona GM Ned Colletti signed right-handed pitcher Vicente Padilla to a minor league contract after he had been released by the Texas Rangers. He will make one Minor League start Saturday for Albuquerque, then move into the Major League rotation next Thursday for Hiroki Kuroda

The 31-year-old Padilla is 94-85 with a 4.36 ERA in 297 career games over 214 starts with Arizona (1999-2000), Philadelphia (2000-05), and Texas (2006-09). He had an 8-6 won-lost record with a 4.92 ERA in 18 starts with the Rangers this season before being designated for assignment on August 7 and released on Monday.  

Padilla was a National League All-Star with Philadelphia in 2002, when he went 14-11 with a 3.28 ERA in 32 starts. In his seven National League seasons from 1999-2005, the Nicaragua native went 51-51 with a 3.95 ERA (342 ER/779.0 IP) in 194 games (111 starts).  

Since 2003, his best earned run average was 4.50 in 2006, but then Texas Stadium is not a pitcher's park.  

Padilla led the Rangers' pitching staff with 14 wins in 2008, and 11 of those victories came on the road away from hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. In 2009, he went 4-4 with a 5.84 ERA (37 ER/59.0 IP) in 10 starts at home and 4-2 with a 3.88 ERA (22 ER/51.0 IP) in eight starts on the road.   

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder also went 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA (4 ER/18.0 IP) in three Interleague starts against the NL this year.  His 43 wins overall as a Ranger since the start of the 2006 season rank second on the club in that time, one behind Kevin Millwood's 44.     

Padilla was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998. He was traded to Arizona in July, 2000 along with Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa and Travis Lee for Curt Schilling. In December of 2005 he was traded to Texas to complete an earlier deal for Ricardo Rodriguez, who was drafted by the Dodgers in 1996 and traded to Cleveland along with Francisco Cruceta and Terry Mulholland for Paul Schuey. Granted free agency in 2006 he resigned with the Rangers just a month later.

  Manager Joe Torre will make his first scheduled start for his new team on Aug. 27 at Colorado.

The Dodgers had passed on Padilla and were pursuing John Smoltz, who had been released by Boston. But Kuroda's injury and Smoltz's decision to join St. Louis instead changed their minds.

Padilla had earned a reputation as a headhunter after being involved in several beanball confrontations and Padilla was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers amid rumors that he had also become a bad teammate who was aloof in the clubhouse and unhelpful to younger players.

"If I caused so much trouble," Padilla said, "I wouldn't be here." Asked why the Rangers cut him loose, he said, "I think that you should ask the question to the Texas GM or manager," he said. "I really don't have any opinion on that. I'm just a ballplayer. I do what I do and I work hard at it."

The rumors were put aside by Torre. "I've had players who have been questions for one thing or another, and I always felt it would be fair to judge them on the time you spend with them. He's here to be part of the staff and to help us win ballgames. If an issue comes up in contradiction to that, we'll deal with it. Until then, it's a clean slate."

Third-base coach Larry Bowa, who managed Padilla in Philadelphia, and Randy Wolf, who pitched with Padilla in Philadelphia, were pleased with his addition.

"When I played with Pads, he was great," Wolf told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. "I like him a lot and we got along great. I don't know what transpired in Texas. Obviously, it wasn't a peaceful parting. He was a quiet guy in the clubhouse who worked hard and I think a second chance here in a pennant race will help him and help us.

"I told them exactly what I'm telling you about my experience with him in Philly," he said. "On the mound, he'll give you seven innings. I didn't see any distraction. He had good stuff, he mixed his speeds. I think he'll do better here. It's better weather, a better park to pitch in. I think there are a lot of positives coming here."

The Dodgers will owe Padilla less than $100,000 for the rest of the season -- a prorated portion of the minimum salary. The Rangers are responsible for the remainder of Padilla's $12 million salary this season.

Vincente Padilla  
B-both  T-right  6-2  200  
Born- Sept. 27, 1977 in Chinandega, Nicaragua
Obtained- signed as a free agent August 19, 2009

year   team  w-l   era  gm  gs  sv    in    h  bb  so  whip
1999  Ariz   0-1 16.68   5   0  0    2.2    7   3   0  3.75
2000  Ariz   2-1  2.31  12   0  0   35.0   32  10  30  1.20
2000  Phil   2-6  5.34  28   0  2   30.1   40  18  21  1.91	
2001  Phil   3-1  4.24  23   0  0   34.0   36  12  29  1.41
2002  Phil  14-11 3.28  32  32  0  206.0  198  53 128  1.22
2003  Phil  14-12 3.62  32  32  0  208.3  196  62 133  1.24
2004  Phil   7-7  4.53  20  20  0  115.2  119  36  82  1.34
2005  Phil   9-12 4.71  27  27  0  147.0  146  74 103  1.50
2006  Tex   15-10 4.50  33  33  0  200.0  206  70 156  1.38
2007  Tex    6-10 5.76  23  23  0  120.1  146  50  71  1.63
2008  Tex   14-8  4.74  29  29  0  171.0  185  65 147  1.50  
2009  Tex    8-6  4.92  18  18  0  108.0  120  42  59  1.50  
            -----------------------------------------------
 Totals     94-85 4.36 297 214  2   1378 1431 495 939  1.40

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