Monasterios takes starting nod in stride

Monasterios takes starting nod in stride

CHICAGO -- Dodgers right-hander Carlos Monasterios took the news of his next spot start as if it's no big deal. After all, he's been a starting pitcher most of his brief career.

"I like starting," he said.

Manager Joe Torre, who named Monasterios Friday night's starter against the Rockies in Denver, has been careful to use Monasterios mostly in non-pressure situations. He's responded with a stellar 1.90 ERA, which includes five scoreless innings in his last two relief appearances. His only start was May 1, when he allowed one run in four innings.

"It's a little surprising to me," Monasterios said of his success, considering that as a Rule 5 Draft pick, he had only three appearances above Class A prior to making the Dodgers' Opening Day roster. "I'm preparing really well. Scouting reports help a lot. We don't have those in the Minor Leagues."

Monasterios said he isn't intimidated by Major League hitters.

"They are good hitters. But I'm a good pitcher," he said. "They are a man like me, you know? They have a bat, I have the ball. They want to hit me, I want to strike them out."

The Dodgers, carrying 11 pitchers since George Sherrill was placed on the disabled list, plan to call up a reliever by Friday. Triple-A Albuquerque relievers currently on the 40-man roster are Jon Link, Brent Leach and Travis Schlichting.