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Onelki Garcia begins rehab assignment, back on Dodgers' radar

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Stephen Dunn

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers may find some left-handed relief help after all in September, and from an unexpected source. Onelki Garcia, sidelined all season after elbow and knee surgeries, began a minor league rehab assignment on Sunday with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Garcia allowed a single, a walk and a two-run double in the first inning against the Lake Elsinore Storm, a Padres affiliate, on Sunday. He threw 17 pitches, including 10 strikes.

Garcia, 25, has been on the 60-day disabled list all season for the Dodgers, after arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow in November, then knee surgery during this season hampering his rehabilitation.

With no timetable for the return of Paco Rodriguez, the Dodgers don't really have any in-house left-handed relief options to bolster the bullpen in September. Garcia, a 6'3, 225-pound southpaw, gives the team another option if healthy. Almost by default, Garcia will be an option for the Dodgers if he can show he has anything with the Quakes.

"I've heard his name. We're running out of games down there, but he's a lefty," manager Don Mattingly said. "A lefty helps us, and Paco's a little bit away."

Drafted by the Dodgers in the third round of the 2012 draft, Garcia made his major league debut last September, pitching in three games. His last time on a professional mound was on Oct. 25, 2013 his only appearance last year for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.