The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Don Sutton on the 21-day disabled list Friday night in a move that may eventually pave the way for the release of the 43-year-old right-hander, who will miss his first start since 1969.

Sutton, 3-5 with a 3.70 ERA, was scheduled to pitch Monday night but asprained right elbow suffered during his last outing Tuesday at Houston has put the pitcher on the DL for the first time in his 23-year big-league career.

Sutton's departure has been rumored since the emergence of 23-year-old right-hander Shawn Hillegas, who is 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA since his recall from Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League. The move to the disabled list may be only postponing the inevitable.

To replace Sutton on the roster, Los Angeles purchased the contract of left-hander Bill Krueger, 30, from Albuquerque of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The former Oakland Athletic was 10-2 with a 2.85 ERA in 15 starts with the Dukes and was to join the Dodgers today.