Call it a victory for experience over youth, and for the power of perseverance.
Jeff Weaver, whose major-league career was revived this week, completed his comeback Saturday when Dodgers manager Joe Torre announced Weaver will start Tuesday's game in place of rookie James McDonald.
The start will be Weaver's first since Sept. 28, 2007, when he completed a rough season with Seattle. Torre indicated Weaver will be limited to 75 pitches, and the manager will evaluate the rotation spot after Tuesday.
Weaver, a 32-year-old product of Simi Valley High, spent all of last season in the minors and signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers over the winter. Weaver made five appearances — including one start — for Triple-A Albuquerque and tossed four shutout innings of relief for the Dodgers on Thursday after being called up that day.
"We presented (the start) to Weaver and he sort of looked at us and said, 'Already?'" Torre said.
"But he's thinking in terms of 'How much can I give you pitch count-wise?' We're looking at a 70-75 pitch number, four or five innings, whatever it is. ... One of the reasons we sent Weaver back (to Triple-A) was to extend him."
McDonald will serve as along reliever after two starts in which he allowed a combined eight runs in 63 innings.
Torre kept McDonald away from the team Friday and Saturday and sent him to hang out with Charlie Hough, the pitching coach at Single-A Inland Empire, a team for which McDonald played in 2007.
"It's something he's just going to have to deal with," Torre said. "I don't think it's going to be a problem, and if it is a problem, then he's not the guy we thought he was. ... When I took him out the game the other night — because he was really upset — I said, 'You pitched on this mound in October last year.' He has to really think about those things."
Kuo out, Leach up
The Dodgers on Saturday placed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left elbow and called up left-handed reliever Brent Leach from Double-A Chattanooga.
Kuo's list of elbow problems is long and grim. He has already undergone four elbow surgeries, including two Tommy John reconstructions, and Torre indicated Kuo has been pitching through pain this season.
"There's probably never been a day when it hasn't hurt," Torre said. "It's just something that never went away."
The problem reached a head Friday when Kuo, who has a 6.75 ERA in seven appearances this season, attempted to warm-up in the bullpen but struggled and threw a ball on the field at one point.
Torre said Kuo will be shut down for one week and then re-evaluated.
Leach, selected by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2005 draft, had allowed only one earned run in 13 innings with Chattanooga this season and had held left-handed batters to a .188 average.
"He got quite a bit of work in the spring, and we wanted to replace a lefty reliever with a lefty reliever," Torre said.
Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal and Russell Martin are all expected to get today off, Torre said. ... Hiroki Kuroda, out with a strained left oblique muscle, did not throw a side session Saturday. It had been thought Kuroda would attempt to throw this weekend, but Torre said Kuroda "still feels it," in terms of the injury.