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Dodgers option Carlos Frias to Triple-A Oklahoma City

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Thursday's off day optioned pitcher Carlos Frias back to Triple-A Oklahoma City, just one day after he was recalled from the minors.

With relief pitchers Yimi Garcia (pitched Monday and Tuesday) and Juan Nicasio (46 pitches on Tuesday) both unavailable for Wednesday's series finale against the Mariners, the Dodgers called up Frias as a possible reinforcement, especially since the club was without its long man in Nicasio.

The club would also be without Joel Peralta, who was unavailable after suffering back spasms, but they didn't know that at the time Frias was called up, on a day he was originally scheduled to start for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

"Obviously we need enough to cover the game tonight and have enough protection for the rest of our guys," Mattingly said Wednesday. "Carlos has been starting, he's built up to start. He has a lot of pitches in him, this would have been his day. He's going to be ready to go."

At the same time, Mattingly hinted the move could be temporary.

"Each game presents its own set of problems," he said.

Frias did not pitch against Seattle.

The Dodgers don't need another fifth starter until April 25, so they can use the next week or so to carry an extra relief pitcher. A position player is unlikely because the most likely call-up, Darwin Barney, was just optioned on Tuesday and can't be recalled until April 23 unless replacing an injured player. Kiké Hernandez would be a solid addition to the bench but the club would prefer the 23-year-old play every day rather than sit on the bench for now, and outfielder Chris Heisey would be redundant, unless the team feels Yasiel Puig's hamstring tightness is going to extend into the weekend.

Of the relievers available, left-hander Adam Liberatore makes the most since given the Dodgers' next two opponents. The Rockies have left-handed hitters in Justin Morneau at first base plus all three starting outfielders - Corey Dickerson, Charley Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez. The Giants have lefties Brandon Belt, Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford in the infield, plus Norichika Aoki and Gregor Blanco in the outfield.

Liberatore hasn't pitched since Monday. He was in Oklahoma City with the team as of 3 p.m. PT on Thursday, per beat writer Jacob Unruh of The Oklahoman.

Sergio Santos has three scoreless appearances for Oklahoma City, last pitching on Tuesday. The right-hander has struck out five of his seven batters faced in his two innings. He is on a minor league deal but also has an opt-out date of May 1 if he isn't added to the active roster. The Dodgers' 40-man roster is currently full, but Brandon League could be transferred o the 60-day disabled list to make room if needed.

The Oklahoma City Dodgers host Nashville Thursday night at 5:05 p.m. PT. Which pitchers get used, or unused in that game could provide a clue as to who gets the call to join the Dodgers on Friday.