LOS ANGELES -- As a Rule 5 Draftee, Carlos Monasterios' first two months in the Major Leagues have been handled more like an internship.
Manager Joe Torre has cautiously doled out the assignments, not wanting to overload the 24-year-old right-hander who pitched only two games above Class A coming into the season. Of course, all Monasterios has done with the opportunity is post the second-lowest ERA in the league by a rookie (1.87), including five scoreless innings Wednesday.
Torre said Monasterios, who left Wednesday's game with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand, probably gets the next start when that rotation spot comes up Monday. But he also said Charlie Haeger will soon get another start.
"Monasterios will probably get the next start, but we still have to find out about Haeger," said Torre. "When it's OK to start him, we have to get some idea of what we have. It's not that I don't trust Monasterios, but we still have to make decisions on pitching."
The Dodgers know that Monasterios can win in the National League, because he's doing it. They want to give Haeger another shot because they don't know if the knuckleballer can win, considering the 0-4 mark he had as the fifth starter until being shuffled to the disabled list three weeks ago with what was announced as a couple of foot injuries.
Haeger was activated Thursday because the bullpen needed a long reliever in the wake of Wednesday's 14-inning victory.
Torre defended the kid-glove treatment he's given Monasterios.
"We just don't want to anoint him and put pressure on him," he said. "We're bringing him along slowly, giving him experience so there are positive results. We used him in lopsided games one way or the other and he got over the hump in that game in Washington where he got the win. He's been progressing very well since then."
Blake scratched with back spasms
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake was scratched from the original starting lineup for Thursday night's game with Atlanta because of back spasms.
The 36-year-old Blake was replaced at third base by Jamey Carroll, who had three hits Wednesday, when Blake did not start but played nine innings in a 14-inning win over Arizona.
Blake is hitting .355 with four homers in his last 16 games and has a nine-game hitting streak. Carroll went 6-for-9 in the three-game series with the D-backs. He has started 34 games (28 at shortstop, six at second base), but this was his first start of the year at third.
Dodgers send down Schlichting for Haeger
LOS ANGELES -- Travis Schlichting got his first Major League win Wednesday with the longest appearance of his professional career and was rewarded Thursday with a demotion to Triple-A, replaced by Charlie Haeger, who was activated off the disabled list.
"It wasn't easy to tell Travis," said manager Joe Torre, as the Dodgers needed a fresh arm after burning through most of the bullpen in the 14-inning win over Arizona.
Schlichting wasn't surprised. In fact, he knew it was a possibility before he left Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. He threw four innings and 60 pitches, making him unavailable for several days, and he could be optioned out without the risk of losing him to another club. He repeated Thursday what he said Wednesday in anticipation of a possible move -- than he was OK with it.
"I'm just happy I got the opportunity to pitch in a game situation," said the rookie. "They didn't have to explain. I'm disappointed to be going down, but I understand why it happened. They need the arms."
Torre said Haeger, who served three weeks on the disabled list with what was described as a couple of foot ailments, was activated "more out of necessity than me wanting to." Haeger will be the long reliever, although Torre said the club still wants another look at the knuckleballer as a starter.
As for Schlichting, he figures to be returning soon. And it's been quite a ride. He was drafted in the fourth round as an infielder by Tampa Bay and given a $400,000 bonus, but was traded to the Angels, who released him when he washed out as a hitter. He took up pitching, settled for a job in independent ball and was finally signed by the Dodgers because assistant general manager Logan White remembered seeing Schlichting pitch when he was scouting his high school teammate, John Danks.
Schlichting went right to Double-A in 2008 and pitched well enough in the Arizona Fall League to be added to the 40-man roster, but showed up in Spring Training last year with a bulging disk. Although he made a two-game cameo in Los Angeles, he also missed the final two months of the season with the back issue that required three epidural injections to solve.
This spring, he was limited to two innings in Major League games while fighting the lingering effects of Gilbert's syndrome, which results in increased bilirubin levels and, in Schlichting's case, led to fatigue, nausea and a 30-pound weight loss. He was among the first group of cuts.
Padilla, Sherrill do well in rehab outings
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers Opening Day starter Vicente Padilla and left-handed reliever George Sherrill, both on the disabled list, had impressive outings in their Minor League rehabilitation assignments for Class A Inland Empire on Thursday night.
Padilla threw three scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Padilla, out since April 23 with an inflamed radial nerve in his throwing arm, allowed a leadoff single and retired the next nine High Desert batters. He issued no walks and is expected to stretch out to four or five innings in his next rehab start next week.
Sherrill, also on a rehab assignment recovering from a stiff back, followed Padilla to the mound with a perfect inning that included two strikeouts. This was his second rehab appearance this week, and he is expected to continue the assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque over the weekend.
Scully to broadcast game from Fenway
LOS ANGELES -- Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will make the trip to Boston for the Dodgers' upcoming Interleague series with the Red Sox and call the June 18 game at Fenway Park.
Scully generally does not handle regular-season road games east of Denver, but is making the exception for the opener of the series. He made the 2004 trip to Boston and, in addition to broadcasting the games, threw out a ceremonial first pitch.
The game, with a 4:10 p.m. PT start time, will be televised on Prime Ticket and broadcast on flagship radio station KABC 790 AM. Scully calls the entire televised version, with the first three innings simulcast on radio.
Games Saturday and Sunday will be televised nationally on FOX and ESPN, respectively.
Scully is in his 61st season broadcasting the Dodgers. He was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.