The Dodgers added another layer of intrigue to their potential playoff roster discussion on Wednesday as left-handed pitcher Onelki Garcia was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque before their series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
To make room for Garcia on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred reliever Shawn Tolleson to the 60-day disabled list. Tolleson underwent back surgery on April 25 to repair a herniated disc, and had his recovery slowed two weeks ago with a hip problem.
Garcia, the 24-year old out of Guantanamo, Cuba, was drafted by the Dodgers in the third round of the 2012 draft, one round after Paco Rodriguez, who made his debut in 2012 and has established himself as one of the most reliable left-handed relievers in baseball. But Rodriguez has made 70 appearances this season, tied with teammate Ronald Belisario for most games pitched in baseball. Closer Kenley Jansen is tied for eighth with 69 appearances.
Garcia was 2-4 with a 2.90 ERA between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Albuquerque this season, with 67 strikeouts and 35 walks in 62 innings. He held left-handed batters to 11 singles, 11 walks and three hit batters in 89 plate appearances in 2013, hitting .149/.281/.149.
The call-up of Garcia represents a change from 10 days ago, when he was not called up on the first day rosters expanded.
"As of right now I don't think there is a plan to bring Onelki. That's on hold," manager Don Mattingly said on Sept. 1. "I know we were happy, just listening to some of our guys who have seen him this year. We're really happy with the way he was going this year. As the season went on he got better and better. He's kind of getting on the radar, but I'm not sure that's the present time."
That present time on the radar very much includes Garcia, who will wear No. 98 for the Dodgers. He is eligible for the postseason roster because he was in the organization on Aug. 31; Garcia would just have to replace a disabled pitcher, and the Dodgers have those in spades with Tolleson, Chad Billingsley, Scott Elbert and Josh Beckett all on the 60-day disabled list.
Garcia gives the Dodgers a third left-handed reliever behind Rodriguez and J.P. Howell in September. Now the only question is whether or not he makes it to October.
Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket, ESPN