Haeger likely to start Tuesday for LA
Knuckleballer has made three Class A rehab outings
DENVER -- The Dodgers' fifth-starter shell game continued Saturday, with manager Joe Torre saying that knuckleballer Charlie Haeger will likely be activated from the disabled list to start Tuesday night against Arizona.
Haeger, 0-4 as the fifth starter, has been on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis and has made three rehab starts for Class A Inland Empire. The decision means that Carlos Monasterios, who allowed two earned runs in five innings at Coors Field on Friday night, will return to the bullpen.
"Right now my first thought is to give [John] Ely an extra day, and to do that, the fifth pitcher would start Tuesday, which couldn't be Monasterios," Torre said, because Monasterios would be coming back on short rest to pitch Tuesday.
"I'm leaning toward Haeger at this time and after that we'll decide. The most important thing for me is to make sure Ely stays there right now. I did this [give an extra day rest] with [Clayton] Kershaw and we're doing it tonight with [Hiroki] Kuroda. To do that, we need the fifth guy Tuesday and that takes Monasterios out of the mix. There's nothing wrong with Ely [physically]."
Torre called Ely "a godsend" who has come out of nowhere to become the fourth starter in the rotation. He said he was aware that Ely had come to the organization from the White Sox in the Juan Pierre trade and the first time he saw him pitch was in Spring Training when he went to watch Russell Martin play in a Minor League game during his recovery from a strained groin muscle.
"It looked like he had a live body," said Torre. "He got the ball and threw it, a refreshing change from a lot of pitchers now. He hasn't had a bad outing. He has been a godsend."
Ethier collects two hits in final rehab game
DENVER -- In his second and final rehab game for Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday night in Memphis, Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs on a sacrifice fly and hit by pitch with the bases loaded.
Ethier, who went 1-for-2 with two walks in seven innings Friday night, is scheduled to return to Los Angeles on Sunday and be activated Monday.
He's been on the disabled list for two weeks with a broken little finger on this right hand, suffered in batting practice.
Padilla, Sherrill throw in simulated game
DENVER -- Vicente Padilla also had a simulated game Saturday.
Many of the participants weren't even aware of the disabled pitcher's early-morning controversy when Padilla shared the Coors Field mound at 1 p.m. MT with George Sherrill, another disabled Dodgers pitcher, pitching to teammates Jamey Carroll and Xavier Paul.
Padilla pitched three innings, Sherrill two. Padilla reported no problems with the inflamed radial nerve in his right arm that put him on the disabled list a month ago. He threw 15 pitches each of three innings.
"He didn't like his command, the sinker wasn't real good, but he threw breaking balls and splits," pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. "He'll take two days off, throw a bullpen at home and we'll look at a rehab start at San Bernardino Thursday. He'll probably need three of those."
That puts Padilla's return around mid-June.
"I thought the ball came out of his hand fine," manager Joe Torre said. "I didn't see any problem."
Sherrill is making a quick recovery from a stiff middle back he said was suffered getting into bed. Disabled only four days earlier, he threw 12 pitches each of two innings.
"I felt my timing was a lot better," Sherrill said. "I still feel a little something in the back, but it doesn't grab at all. If they want me to go somewhere, I'll go. I know they want me to be with [Triple-A Albuquerque pitching coach Jim] Slaton, but they're on the road."
Honeycutt indicated Sherrill will likely have a four-appearance Minor League rehab assignment -- twice with Class A Inland Empire, twice with Albuquerque.
Ellis catches baby's birth on webcam
DENVER -- Through the miracle of modern technology from his hotel room early Saturday morning, Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was able to follow the birth of his son in Wisconsin, then start against the Rockies on Saturday night.
Ellis got the call after Friday night's game from wife Cindy that their second child was about to be born. She updated him from the hospital and around 3 a.m., Ellis turned on his laptop and, via webcam, was able to hear the birth of son Luke, then see that mother and child were happy and healthy.
"It was pretty amazing," said Ellis.
Cindy's family lives nearby and was with her at the hospital. Ellis' mother joined today. His father is in Denver to watch Ellis play. Ellis said the decision whether he would be with Cindy for the birth was made over the offseason.
"I left it up to my wife," he said. "Her plan was that if I was Triple-A, I'd be at the hospital, which I was for our first baby. If I'm in the Major Leagues, as a catcher it's tough to leave the team with one catcher. But I left it up to her and kept asking repeatedly. She was completely fine with it."
In other Dodgers family news, hitting coach Don Mattingly left the club to attend the high school graduation of his youngest son in Indiana and is expected to rejoin the club Sunday.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.