CHICAGO -- Chris Capuano, signed to be the Dodgers fifth starter, leads the club in wins and strikeouts and has credited a newly developed breaking ball for adding to his effectiveness.
Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said he and Minor League pitching coach Glenn Dishman had a discussion with Capuano during Spring Training about pitching philosophy and mentioned he never threw a curveball, sticking with a cutter and slider. The coaches demonstrated a grip to try, Capuano tried it and has stuck with it.
"He's using it as a backdoor curveball and because he's commanding it, it gives him an easy strike to get back in the count," said Honeycutt. "It's got a different break and he uses it against righties and certain left-handers.
"It gives him the outer half of the plate. I think if he can get strike-one and the hitter hasn't seen [his] best stuff yet, that's a pretty good start. Maybe he threw only eight to 10 of them yesterday, but he's getting a high percentage of strikes with it, [they're] not putting it in play."
Of the Dodgers' three left-handed starting pitchers, Capuano is 4-0, Ted Lilly is 3-0 and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw is 2-0.
"Kershaw has been our shaky lefty," joked manager Don Mattingly.
Guerrier eligible to return, but not yet ready
CHICAGO -- Reliever Matt Guerrier was eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, but elbow tendonitis hasn't even allowed him to throw on flat ground without discomfort and he has not been on a mound since being disabled.
"It's not going as fast as we were hoping," said Guerrier. "I'll see the doctor when I get home."
Guerrier had a platelet-rich plasma injection, but hasn't noticed much improvement. He continues to play soft catch just to keep all the other parts in motion without further aggravating the injury.
Manager Don Mattingly said it's no coincidence that since Guerrier has been disabled, the bullpen has struggled.
"Any time you lose a piece, it moves everybody else around," he said. "Matt was our seventh-inning guy, but that pushes everybody into different roles. I don't think it's a coincidence."
Uribe set for full exam on sore wrist
CHICAGO -- Juan Uribe will have a full medical examination on his sore left wrist, which has kept him out of the starting lineup the last five games, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Sunday.
Uribe originally injured the wrist sliding into home April 15 and missed four games. He started seven of the next eight games but re-injured the wrist during batting practice Monday in Denver. He will be examined once the club returns to Los Angeles for the homestand, which starts Monday night.
"We're still at a point where I don't know how much time it will take," Mattingly said about a complete recovery. "I know he can pinch-hit and I can bring him in a double-switch, but he's not quite right for four at-bats."
Mattingly started the hot-hitting Jerry Hairston again and said he doesn't feel short-handed because those two have effectively switched roles, as long as Uribe is able to pinch-hit and stay in the game on defense.
Kemp keeps games played streak alive
CHICAGO -- Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp sounded like he might see his longest active consecutive games played streak end after coming up with a tight left hamstring late Saturday.
Kemp was scratched from the starting lineup Sunday, but pinch-hit in the seventh inning and flied out in the Dodgers' 4-3 loss in 11 innings. The streak now stands at 392 games.
While describing this injury as similar to the one that forced him to miss only one start last June (he also pinch-hit in that game), Kemp made it sound as if he's prepared to watch a game or two of the Dodgers-Giants series that starts at home Monday night.
"I just don't want to be stupid," said Kemp. "I'd rather rest it one day than do something stupid, and it could be a week or two or however long."
Kemp said he felt his leg "pull a little bit" cutting off Ian Stewart's RBI single in the left-center gap in the ninth inning of Saturday's 5-1 win.
Kemp said he wants to play Monday, but sounded uncertain if he would.
"The streak does mean something to me, to play every day, but still I don't want to do something stupid to put my teammates in a situation where they lose me for one or two weeks," he said. "It could be only one day and maybe this is the day and I can get back to play San Francisco. It feels weird watching the team play."
Kemp was replaced in the starting lineup by Tony Gwynn, who went 0-for-3 with a walk.
"We weren't going to take the chance of having him run the bases or playing the field," manager Don Mattingly said, especially with the outfield having taken two hours of pregame rain. "We feel like he's day to day. But we'll be cautious. We don't want him to miss 15 days and take another 10 to get back in the swing. He won't be back until he's pain-free."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.