Monasterios nears return from Dodgers' DL

Monasterios nears return from Dodgers' DL

PHOENIX -- Rule 5 rookie pitcher Carlos Monasterios will likely return to the Dodgers from the disabled list by the middle of the week, manager Joe Torre said Sunday.

Monasterios threw three scoreless innings in a rehab start Saturday night with Triple-A Albuquerque, where he has recovered from a finger blister.

The previous night, Claudio Vargas threw six scoreless innings for Albuquerque, and Torre said Vargas gives the Dodgers some depth if they need a swingman.

Torre said James McDonald, who missed a month with a hamstring strain, also is back "on the radar screen" after throwing four scoreless innings for Albuquerque on Thursday night. McDonald has begun throwing a slider that so far has been more effective than his overhand curveball.

"He's another guy who could give us some length," Torre said. "It's in there. He's trying."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.