LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre didn't name a starter for Tuesday night at Arizona -- the next time one of the team's fluctuating spots in the rotation is due to come up -- but John Ely is a prime candidate.
The rookie right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque after a spectacular 6 2/3-inning outing against Milwaukee on Thursday night, but if a major league pitcher were to be placed on the disabled list, Ely wouldn't have to spend the mandatory 10 days in the minors that usually go along with such a move.
Torre said Sunday that Charlie Haeger has a problem in his right heel. Haeger had a disastrous outing Saturday against the Colorado Rockies and wasn't likely to pitch again soon, but if the Dodgers designated him for assignment, they wouldn't be able to recall Ely.
Dodgers infielder Ronnie Belliard has a slight injury to his left groin. He is available to play but is somewhat restricted.
Ortiz likely to start next Sunday
Torre said veteran Ramon Ortiz is now a candidate for the starting rotation and is the most likely choice to start Sunday, May 16, at San Diego, the next time after Tuesday that one of those fluctuating spots comes up. Ortiz pitched five innings out of the bullpen and threw 82 pitches in the process, after Haeger's short start on Saturday night. Torre said Ortiz was willing to go longer, but he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.