ALBUQUERQUE -- The long and winding road of rehabilitation for Dodgers pitcher Scott Elbert is about to get a little longer. The left-hander, on a minor league rehab assignment recovering from 2013 Tommy John surgery, joined Triple-A Albuquerque three days after pitching Monday night for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Elbert pitched the sixth inning and retired just one of the five batters he faced. He allowed a home run, a double and two four-pitch walks, and struck out one batter. He threw 20 pitches but only seven for strikes.
Elbert has a 7.04 ERA in his nine rehab games so far, including three home runs allowed, with eight strikeouts and six walks in 7⅔ innings across three levels, including two previous appearances with the Isotopes, both scoreless.
The collective bargaining agreement allowed for pitching rehab assignments to last up to 30 days, which for Elbert would have ended Thursday night. But he suffered a toe injury that shut him down for a week, and subsequently reset the clock on Elbert's 30 days. He could technically continue his rehab assignment through Aug. 9, though that seems unlikely.
Once Elbert's rehab assignment is up, he will either need to be added back to the active roster or designated for assignment, as he is out of options.
But more importantly, Elbert in Albuquerque almost certainly means he won't be activated on Friday by the Dodgers, who are in St. Louis for a three-game series with the Cardinals. The Dodgers optioned Pedro Baez to Albuquerque on Sunday (though he hasn't technically been added back to the Isotopes roster yet), with a corresponding move coming Friday.
For what it's worth, I didn't see Paco Rodriguez in the Isotopes bullpen after the game started, which could mean nothing or could be the answer to Friday's roster riddle, assuming the Dodgers don't want to carry only six relievers by simply activating Justin Turner from the disabled list without removing an infielder.
Thursday was a busy transactional day for Albuquerque, with the additions of Elbert and utility man Chone Figgins on rehab assignments. The Isotopes also added first baseman Clint Robinson, who cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A on Wednesday; and right-handed pitcher Josh Ravin was promoted from Double-A Chattanooga.
Brian Cavazos-Galvez, whose walk-off hit on July 10 technically came as an ineligible player, forcing the Isotopes to forfeit a game — Chris Jackson at the Albuquerque Examiner has more details — was placed on the seven-day disabled list with lower back tightness.
The Dodgers released right-handed pitcher Juan Abreu, the 29-year-old who had a 7.11 ERA with seven walks and four strikeouts in 6⅓ innings in eight relief appearances with the Isotopes.