LOS ANGELES -- September is here, the callups aren't.
The Dodgers brought up no one on Wednesday, the first day Major League rosters expanded. Catcher A.J. Ellis is to arrive on Friday, manager Joe Torre said, along with an unnamed infielder. The Dodgers have an off-day on Thursday.
The Dodgers couldn't bring up Ellis on Wednesday because it was within 10 days of his demotion to Triple-A Albuquerque on Aug. 22. Ellis has spent most of the season with the big league club because of injuries to Brad Ausmus and Russell Martin, hitting .208 in 72 at-bats.
The Dodgers expect pitching help, too -- like Albuquerque right-hander Jon Link -- but only in the bullpen.
"At this point it doesn't look like we're going to bring up a starter," Torre said.
The team isn't expected to call up any top prospects.
Theriot's knee feeling better after short rest
LOS ANGELES -- Ryan Theriot was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game on Wednesday, but said his left knee was feeling much better.
Theriot was hurt on Monday on a clean takeout slide from the Phillies' Jayson Werth at second base. Theriot pinch-hit on Tuesday night and would likely be available in the same role in Wednesday's series finale. He'll be able to rest his knee on Thursday's off-day.
Right-hander Vicente Padilla threw a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday morning, two days after he threw 33 pitches in three innings for Class A Inland Empire. He will start for the Dodgers on Monday in San Diego.
If Padilla wasn't activated, manager Joe Torre said Carlos Monasterios would again get the spot start. Monasterios lasted just two innings on Tuesday against Philadelphia.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal is to play the first of two rehab games for Triple-A Albuquerque. Furcal missed most of August because of a strained lower back. Torre did not rule out the possibility of a Friday return for Furcal. The Isotopes are home Wednesday and Thursday before hitting the road.
LA's schedule chock full of NL West foes
LOS ANGELES -- The good news about the September schedule for the Dodgers is they play some of the clubs they are chasing.
The bad news is that they're chasing those teams because the Dodgers haven't played well enough to be the team being chased.
"We have to win every game," manager Joe Torre said. "You see what happens to San Diego, losing six straight. Anybody is capable of losing a handful of games. Things can change very quickly. The only thing is, we need to be there when it happens. It's not unlikely or unusual for the opportunity to present itself, but we have to do our part."
With a third consecutive National League West title pretty well out of reach, the Dodgers have been focused the past few weeks on the Wild Card. But perhaps a bigger obstacle than a 6 1/2-game deficit heading into Wednesday's play, is the fact the Dodgers must leap over four other teams and have no remaining games against two of them -- the Phillies and Cardinals.
Torre's Dodgers open a three-game series at home with the Giants on Friday, the first of nine series this month, playing all four division opponents, three games at home and three games away in each. The Dodgers sat five games behind the Giants and two behind the Rockies entering Wednesday's series finale with the Phillies.
The only series against a team out of the NL West comes next week, when the Dodgers play a four-game series in Houston. They won both games against the Astros at Dodger Stadium earlier this year.
The Dodgers have enjoyed their greatest success this year within the division, with a 30-18 mark. They are 6-6 against San Francisco, 7-5 against San Diego, 7-5 against Colorado and 10-2 against Arizona.
Of the final 28 games, 16 are on the road, where the Dodgers are 28-37. The three-city, 10-game trip that starts Monday in San Diego -- then goes to Houston and winds up in San Francisco -- is the longest of the year.
The Dodgers play teams with winning records in 21 of the final 28 games, the only teams with losing records being the Astros and D-backs.
Furcal thrives in first rehab game at Triple-A
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal had an impressive first game on his Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday night, hitting a triple and a double with two RBIs and two runs scored in three at-bats.
Furcal played shortstop for five innings, fielding the two ground balls hit to him, before being replaced by Chin-lung Hu, who has just returned from surgery for a broken left thumb.
Furcal is expected to play at least one more game for Albuquerque before he returns to the Dodgers after missing a month with a lower back strain.
Stadium builder enjoys fruits of labor
LOS ANGELES -- Arthur "Buzz" Bickerton, 94, took in Wednesday's game at Dodger Stadium, the hallowed grounds he helped build.
Bickerton, who attended the game with sons, Mark and Ross, oversaw the cranes used to construct the stadium, which opened in 1962.
"It was a different type of construction," Bickerton said. "Different than usual, but nice."
Bickerton's family is still involved with the Dodgers. The company Buzz founded, now called Bickerton Iron Works, has worked on several projects at Dodger Stadium in recent years.
Kenley Jansen on Tuesday became the first Dodgers pitcher to deliver a pinch-hit since Jason Schmidt turned the feat on Aug. 2, 2009, in Atlanta. A light-hitting catcher to start his pro career, Jansen was converted to a reliever just a season ago and said he had not taken batting practice since the spring. In a pinch, manager Joe Torre said it was possible Jansen could be used as a catcher, but it would have to be quite a pinch. ... The Dodgers finished August 14-15, their second consecutive losing month after going 11-15 in July. The Dodgers have had a losing August every year since 2006, when they went 21-7. The Dodgers haven't had three losing months in a row since May to July of 2005.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.