8/16/2013 6:57 P.M. ET
Wilson throws simulated game in latest step
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Recovering reliever Brian Wilson threw a simulated game at Citizens Bank Park on Friday in a final test before the Dodgers activate him, perhaps on Sunday or Monday.
Manager Don Mattingly, who watched the workout with general manager Ned Colletti and a handful of staff, said he wanted to see how Wilson comes out of the session before saying when the right-hander will be activated.
Among other factors: the Dodgers' bullpen currently is deep and effective, and to make room for Wilson a difficult roster move will be required -- barring an injury.
Wilson showed more command than velocity in the simulated game. He made roughly 20 warmup pitches in the bullpen during early batting practice, then faced three hitters -- Dee Gordon, Matt Kemp and Nick Punto. The best-struck pitch was a fly ball by Gordon to the warning track in right field.
After resting for five minutes, Wilson went back to the mound to simulate the between-innings up and down and faced two more batters.
"He was OK," Mattingly said. "He was a lot of what we heard -- throwing where he wanted, using different pitches. He sat down for five to seven minutes, got up and looked even better.
"You don't know when you watch a sim game, you don't get velocity. What we've seen in games and him being able to bounce back tells us he has a healthy arm."
Wilson, a former All-Star closer, hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since April 2012, when he underwent Tommy John elbow surgery for the second time in 10 years. He was non-tendered by the Giants last winter.
"Yeah, I'm ready," said Wilson. "I've pitched seven, eight times now and everything is good. It's a step, absolutely. It's nice to get back on a familiar mound."
Wilson wore uniform No. 00. No Dodger ever has.
"Every other number was taken," he said. "I figured there was no chance anybody took that."
Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, special assistant Pat Corrales and several players also watched the workout. Although Wilson hasn't yet shown his past velocity, the Dodgers believe his experience under pressure will be an asset down the stretch.
Wilson was signed to join Ronald Belisario and Paco Rodriguez to pitch the seventh and eighth innings and get to closer Kenley Jansen.
Ethier gets breather for opener in Philly
PHILADELPHIA -- Andre Ethier, rushed to a hospital Tuesday before homering in the clutch Wednesday, was on the bench for the Dodgers' opener against the Phillies on Friday, but not because of his sore calf.
"It's two-fold," manager Don Mattingly said. "Obviously, he's ready to play. He wanted to play. If there had been a different matchup, but he's not good against Cliff Lee. It had nothing to do with his health. The computer kicked him out."
Ethier is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts against Lee lifetime. So Mattingly instead started right-handed hitter Scott Van Slyke in right field. Van Slyke was recalled for the fourth time this year earlier in the day.
"Like I told him, if he was healthy, I would look at this as two days off [following a travel day]," said Mattingly. "This is how I make up the lineups. I look for a combination of days."
Ethier said the calf, which has bothered him since he was hit by a pitch in Chicago nearly two weeks ago, continues to improve.
"All signs point to it getting better every day," he said. "Now is not the time to stay off it. We need to win these games."
Dodgers option Gordon to add Van Slyke
PHILADELPHIA -- The Dodgers announced on Friday that they have recalled outfielder Scott Van Slyke and optioned infielder Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Sending Gordon down is an indication that the club believes that starting shortstop Hanley Ramirez has sufficiently recovered from the jammed right shoulder that sidelined him for nine games. Ramirez returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday night.
Recalling Van Slyke bolsters the outfield corps that had been thinned out by a calf injury to Andre Ethier, who slugged a game-tying two-run homer as a pinch-hitter on Wednesday night after being sent to the hospital on Tuesday.
Van Slyke, recalled for the fourth time this season, gives the Dodgers needed right-handed power off the bench. Gordon was 5-for-14 in his most recent stint with the club.
Mattingly voices support for expanded replay
PHILADELPHIA -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sounds eager to see how expanded replay will work in baseball.
"I've seen the [media] reports -- I think it will be interesting," said Mattingly. "There have to be rules on what you can do and what you can't do, like the timing of it. We may need a video replay coach. If you use up your challenges early, you won't have one late."
Mattingly dismissed concerns about expanded replay slowing the pace of game.
"I don't think it will be that bad with technology as quick as it should be," he said. "To me, I'm thinking about how to use it. You know they're going to get the calls right."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.