"He's one of our starters right now," Torre said after Ely pitched six-plus innings. "[Vicente] Padilla is more than a month away. I don't see where he's [Ely] in any danger."
Ely has pitched at least six innings in each of his three Major League starts and has issued only three walks in 18 2/3 innings, but none in his last 12 innings.
"His command has been terrific," said Torre. "He makes it look -- I don't want to say easy -- but simple. And that's the thing that's been escaping our club -- getting deep into the game. He's got us to the seventh inning each time."
As for Padilla, trainer Stan Conte said a follow-up MRI was taken of the radial nerve in his right arm, which put him on the disabled list April 23, and it was "totally normal. The nerve has completely calmed down."
Padilla, the club's Opening Day starter, played catch Wednesday for the second time in three days, but the club doesn't expect him back until sometime in June.