Wednesday, April 7

Now they are concerned?

What were they thinking?

Pitching coach Jim Colborn said the Dodgers were concerned about Hideo Nomo's decreased velocity from last season, saying the club might have "underestimated" how long it would take the right-hander to recover from off-season shoulder surgery.

"It might take longer than we thought because he never had any pain" during spring training, Colborn said.

"But the history with anybody is it takes quite a while after their repair to get back to full strength, so maybe it was underestimated."

Nomo was pounded for seven hits — including two home runs — and seven earned runs in five innings against San Diego. He went 1-4 with an 8.13 earned-run average in exhibition play.

Colborn hopes that Nomo's velocity, which the coach estimates has decreased a few miles per hour, will increase with some mechanical changes in his delivery.

"He had surgery and he also has a mechanical problem," Colborn said. "We'll fix the mechanical problem, or try to, and see what the results are. Even if it is the surgery, you'd still expect [Nomo's velocity] to come back at some point."

Nomo, scheduled to start Saturday against Colorado, says he's not concerned.

"Personally, I think I'm doing pretty good," Nomo said through an interpreter. "I'm throwing the way I want to throw. I'm not injured or hurt, so I'm not worried.

"I'm going to listen to what coach Colborn has to say, but I'm not worried about what [other] people have to say. It's just about myself. I just have to focus."

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