The Dodgers activated pitcher Stephen Fife from the disabled list, and the right-hander will start on the mound on Sunday going for the sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. To make room on the roster, the Dodgers optioned outielder Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Carlos Marmol, who has allowed 10 baserunners and recorded 11 outs, and hasn't appeared in an inning as a Dodger without allowing at least two runners to reach, remains employed.
The move to start Fife pushes back the rest of the starting rotation an extra day, and allows the Dodgers to start both Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw against both the Cardinals and Rays next week, teams that own the fifth- and fourth-best record, respectively, in MLB.
Fife is 3-3 with a 2.76 ERA in eight starts for the Dodgers this season, and beat out Chris Capuano for the fifth starter spot just before the All-Star break. But Fife was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder bursitis that caused him to miss 23 games.
Fife made a pair of rehab starts with Triple-A Albuquerque and allowed three runs, two earned, in 10⅓ innings, with 13 strikeouts and two walks. He last started Monday for the Isotopes and threw 83 pitches in six innings, with seven strikeouts and one unearned run allowed.
Starting Fife on Sunday also temporarily delays the decision of Fife or Capuano for the fifth starter spot, which will come up next on Friday against Tampa Bay at Dodger Stadium. Capuano, who is 4-6 with a 4.16 ERA, has been inconsistent this season but has also pitched 13 scoreless innings over his last two starts and since returning from the disabled list on June 19 has a 3.16 ERA in eight starts, including five scoreless outings.
Van Slyke hit .242/.327/.505 in 36 games in multiple stints for the Dodgers this season, with six home runs and seven doubles in 110 plate appearances. Van Slyke started each of the last three games for the Dodgers, filling in at right field, left field and first base. Van Slyke, who was just recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday, was 2-for-8 with a double and three walks in the series at Wrigley Field.
The Dodgers temporarily have 13 pitchers on the active roster, though that could be remedied by optioning Fife to Triple-A after Sunday's game. Since both Elian Herrera and Van Slyke have been optioned without the last 10 days, they couldn't be called up without someone else going on the disabled list. That leaves Alex Castellanos, Dee Gordon and Justin Sellers as potential call-ups from Triple-A Albuquerque, just counting non-catchers on the 40-man rosters.