LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers made a few roster moves before Thursday's game against the Padres, one to make room for the return of starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and the other to provide some relief for a bullpen that has been worked to the hilt of late.
Ryu was activated from the 60-day disabled list and pitcher Carlos Frias was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City, and pitcher Luis Avilan was optioned to Triple-A. To make room for Ryu on both the active and 40-man rosters, outfielder Will Venable was designated for assignment.
The moves mean that for the time being the club is carrying 14 pitchers, including nine relievers, and only 11 position players, which means a three-man bench.
At most, this roster configuration doesn't figure to last more than four games, with the Dodgers trying to get through these four games to get to the All-Star break.
The Dodgers bullpen has pitched 19⅔ innings in the last three days and 42⅔ innings in the last 10 days, including eight pitchers throwing a total of nine innings in relief on Wednesday. The club needs Frias as the long man to protect against the uncertainty of Ryu, making his first major league start since the 2014 NLDS after missing a year and a half following shoulder surgery.
Frias has a 3.95 ERA in 10 games, including six starts this season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, with 32 strikeouts and 11 walks in 43⅓ innings. He last pitched on Sunday, throwing 27 pitches in 1⅔ innings.
This is the second major league stint this season for Frias, who was up for two days in June as long man insurance but did not pitch.
Venable was designated for assignment for the second time this season, removing him from the 40-man roster. The veteran outfielder was 1-for-18 (.053) with a double and a hit by pitch in 12 games, including three outfield starts.
The club has 10 days to decide what to do with the 33-year-old Venable. If he passes through waivers, as he did previously, the club can send him outright to the minors, but Venable has the right to refuse any minor league assignment should he so choose.
Avilan was up for two days as relief help in his own right, and pitched a scoreless inning on both Tuesday and Wednesday. In three major league stints this season the southpaw has allowed three runs in three innings, with four strikeouts and three walks.