The Dodgers haven't yet announced their starting pitcher for the series opener Friday night in San Francisco, but all signs point to Stephen Fife making his second major league start.
Fife normally wouldn't be allowed to be recalled from Triple A Albuquerque within 10 days of getting optioned - he was sent down on July 18 - but he could return if he is replacing an injured player. The opportunity for Fife figures to come due to Scott Elbert's sore left shoulder.
"Elbert has been dealing with discomfort for several weeks," wrote Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
Elbert to the disabled list would allow the Dodgers to recall Fife, as well as clear a roster spot for him. The presence of Randy Choate, the left-hander acquired along with Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins on Wednesday, softens the blow to the bullpen with Elbert on the shelf.
Elbert was 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA, with 28 strikeouts and 13 walks in 29 1/3 innings.
Nathan Eovaldi was originally scheduled to start on Friday, but he is now a Marlin after Wednesday's trade. A pair of extremely unlikely options other than Fife would be to start either Chad Billingsley or John Ely (not on the 40-man roster) on three days rest, with Fife pitching Saturday.
The other option to start Friday could have been Allen Webster, who is not on the 40-man roster, but he made his scheduled start for Double A Chattanooga on Thursday, eliminating him for consideration.
Fife made his major league debut on July 17 against the Phillies. He walked three and struck out only one, but allowed just one run in six innings thanks in part to 11 ground ball outs. He was optioned the next day, and in his one Triple A start since then he allowed one run in seven innings against Iowa on Sunday, with no walks and 12 strikeouts.
Fife had to matchup against Roy Halladay in his major league debut, and assuming Fife gets the call on Friday, his second start will be against Matt Cain. That's a tough start.
On Friday, Fife will be on regular four days rest.