LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers activated Chris Hatcher from the 60-day disabled list before Friday night's game against the Reds, but placed Juan Nicasio on the 15-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain to make room on the active roster.
To make room on the 40-man roster, Carlos Frias was transferred to the 60-day disabled list, still dealing with right lower back tightness.
Nicasio has been one of the best and most dependable arms in the Dodgers bullpen all season, putting up a 2.06 ERA and 2.64 FIP in 38 games, with 52 strikeouts and 22 walks in 47 innings. He allowed only one home run all year.
The DL move is retroactive to Monday. Nicasio last pitched on Sunday, throwing a scoreless inning, the only Dodgers pitcher untouched in the debacle in Pittsburgh.
Nicasio first felt the pain on Thursday while warming up in the bullpen. He had an MRI on Friday morning that showed no muscle tear nor structural damage.
"The muscle is a little tight, but it's nothing bad," Nicasio said.
The Dodgers have three off days upcoming (Aug. 17, Aug. 20 and Aug. 24), which means even fewer missed games going forward for Nicasio, who expects to be ready to return on Aug. 25, once his 15 days are up.
"This is day five of it, and we have three off days. It didn't make sense to wait four days without another guy then push him and all of a sudden have a long-term thing," manager Don Mattingly said. "That he hadn't pitched in four days, it was kind of a no-brainer."
Hatcher has been sidelined since June 14 with a left oblique strain. He had a 6.38 ERA in 27 appearances, but with 19 strikeouts and seven walks and no home runs allowed in his 19⅓ innings had a 3.22 FIP.
Hatcher, who pitched in eight games combined with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City on his minor league rehab assignment, said earlier Friday that he was ready to return. He also said he never looks at any numbers, though when asked the reason for his early-season results he seemed to intuitively sense his .375 batting average on balls in play.
"Just shitty luck," he explained.
Frias last pitched for the Dodgers on June 30, so the earliest he would be able to be activated is Aug. 30.