Torre playing it safe with Monasterios

Torre playing it safe with Monasterios

LOS ANGELES -- As a Rule 5 Draftee, Carlos Monasterios' first two months in the Major Leagues have been handled more like an internship.

Manager Joe Torre has cautiously doled out the assignments, not wanting to overload the 24-year-old right-hander who pitched only two games above Class A coming into the season. Of course, all Monasterios has done with the opportunity is post the second-lowest ERA in the league by a rookie (1.87), including five scoreless innings Wednesday.

Torre said Monasterios, who left Wednesday's game with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand, probably gets the next start when that rotation spot comes up Monday. But he also said Charlie Haeger will soon get another start.

"Monasterios will probably get the next start, but we still have to find out about Haeger," said Torre. "When it's OK to start him, we have to get some idea of what we have. It's not that I don't trust Monasterios, but we still have to make decisions on pitching."

The Dodgers know that Monasterios can win in the National League, because he's doing it. They want to give Haeger another shot because they don't know if the knuckleballer can win, considering the 0-4 mark he had as the fifth starter until being shuffled to the disabled list three weeks ago with what was announced as a couple of foot injuries.

Haeger was activated Thursday because the bullpen needed a long reliever in the wake of Wednesday's 14-inning victory.

Torre defended the kid-glove treatment he's given Monasterios.

"We just don't want to anoint him and put pressure on him," he said. "We're bringing him along slowly, giving him experience so there are positive results. We used him in lopsided games one way or the other and he got over the hump in that game in Washington where he got the win. He's been progressing very well since then."