8/3/2013 4:11 P.M. ET
Starting Fife would allow LA to rest other starters
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- The Dodgers still have not confirmed plans to activate disabled pitcher Stephen Fife to start Sunday's game against the Cubs, but manager Don Mattingly on Saturday at least provided "hypothetical" insight into the club's thinking for doing it.
"If we push them back, there's no other reason than to give everybody an extra day," Mattingly said of the decision, which would allow Zack Greinke to start Monday against the Cardinals instead of Sunday against the Cubs.
It also means that Chris Capuano -- who has a 6.00 career ERA against the Cardinals and 7.90 ERA at Busch Stadium -- will miss that series and start Friday night at home against the Rays.
"We want to give guys extra days when we can. Hypothetically, this would be a good time."
But Saturday was not a good day to confirm it because Fife's activation after shoulder bursitis will require a corresponding roster move, which is why the Dodgers won't announce it until Sunday. Mattingly said there is another stretch of 17 days without a day off when the Dodgers might also use a sixth starter, but that will be in September after rosters expand.
Mattingly said none of his five starters is injured.
Prospect Seager promoted to Rancho Cucamonga
CHICAGO -- Corey Seager, the Dodgers' first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, was promoted on Friday from Class A Great Lakes to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga.
Seager, ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the organization by MLB.com, was hitting .309 with a .918 OPS, 12 homers and 57 RBIs in 74 games for the Loons.
Seager, 19, was drafted as a shortstop and has remained at the position, even though many scouts believe that his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame will require a move to third base.
Assistant pitching coach Howell back with Dodgers
CHICAGO -- Back in uniform for the Dodgers on Saturday was Ken Howell, the assistant pitching coach who has been sidelined for nearly two months with complications from diabetes.
Howell had been the Dodgers' bullpen coach for four years, but his role and title changed this year to reduce the amount of necessary travel. Howell split time between the Major League and Minor League clubs, while Chuck Crim took over as bullpen coach.
That worked out until mid June, when Howell developed a pancreatic infection. He was hospitalized for eight days, then needed intravenous antibiotics every day for three weeks.
"It was more serious than I thought and it took a while to get my energy back," he said. "But I feel really good now. I just have to monitor it, because with diabetes anything can pop up. I'm getting back on the field today and I'm excited to get to do what I do.
"I may not have the same ability and strength to do it on the field, but I still can make an impact on guys with their release point and their delivery and what I see them doing in the game."
Howell, 52, said he will travel to St. Louis with the team Sunday night. His work schedule after that, which might include working with recently signed Brian Wilson, will be determined in St. Louis.
"I want to see how I'm bouncing back each day," he said. "I'm just taking it one step at a time. But it's good to be back, really good."
Kemp's recovery from ankle injury going slow
CHICAGO -- Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who's on the 15-day disabled list, continues his slow recovery from what turned out to be a significantly sprained left ankle.
Kemp, still wearing a restrictive walking boot most of the time, resumed playing catch with medical director Stan Conte and, barring another setback, will resume other baseball activities next week when the team is in St. Louis.
But Kemp tried to play catch earlier this week and had to be shut down because of continued discomfort in the ankle, which he injured sliding into home plate on July 21 after making a baserunning mistake.
"I just think it was a lot worse than we were hoping, when we thought it would just be a couple of days," said manager Don Mattingly, who initially was told the injury didn't appear to be severe. "He got it pretty good."
It was the third disabling injury for Kemp this year. Because he hasn't been able to run or swing, Kemp will essentially need a Spring Training's worth of conditioning to be in playing shape, which is why the club doesn't expect him back until September.
• Mattingly, intending to give first baseman Adrian Gonzalez Sunday off, saw Gonzalez on the training table Saturday and moved it up a day. "He seemed a little stiff, he said he would be fine but I could tell by the way he answered he needed a day," Mattingly said. Scott Van Slyke started at first base.
• Mattingly, ejected Friday for the third time this season while arguing after Mark Ellis was ejected, said he's done arguing. "I am not getting thrown out of this game. That's the plan," he said. "I'm staying in the dugout. It seems when I go out there, chances aren't very good. That's it for the year. I believe that right now. The way I feel, I'll hold my temper the rest of the year."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.