Fife likely to fill in for banged-up Capuano vs. Padres
Dodgers need Minor League spot starter for second consecutive game
DENVER -- The Dodgers are expected to scratch listed starter Chris Capuano from Monday night's game against the Padres and recall Stephen Fife from Triple-A Albuquerque to replace him, although the club has not made any announcement.
It will be the second consecutive game in which the Dodgers need to promote a Minor Leaguer as an emergency replacement for an injured starting pitcher. On Sunday, Matt Magill took the loss, filling in for Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has a sore foot.
Capuano has a strain of the triceps muscle in his pitching arm. He said he suffered it during Wednesday night's start as he tried to brace himself as he fell off the mound after reaching for a grounder. The arm tightened up a few pitches later, and he was removed after 5 1/3 innings.
Capuano had his between-starts bullpen session pushed back a day in Denver, then played catch Sunday. Like Ryu, Capuano said the injury is healing. But like Ryu, he couldn't assure the staff that it wouldn't tighten up early in the game and leave the bullpen with the majority of the innings to clean up.
"It's not debilitating and it's hard to say whether it would tighten out there. But we want to make sure," he said. "I'd like to be able to say I'm 100 percent certain there won't be a problem. The last thing I want is to put the team in position of using the bullpen, not without an off-day coming up. I don't feel it's serious, maybe only a couple of days.
"As a player, I want to be out there. But I don't want to put the team in a bad spot. It's a very, very hard line to walk, to know when you can push through or when you're hurting the team by trying. It's a tough spot that you hate to be in as a player."
The Dodgers will be taking some risk with Fife as well. He was called up on April 21 to make an emergency start when Chad Billingsley's elbow blew out. He went 4 2/3 innings in Baltimore, then revealed he had a sore shoulder.
He moved to the disabled list, activated after a four-inning rehab start with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on May 28 and sent to Albuquerque, where he was scheduled to start Sunday, but was held back because of Capuano's uncertain status.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.