LOS ANGELES -- Attempting to bolster a depleted bullpen, the Dodgers held off on bringing up an outfielder and instead purchased the contract of former Giants reliever Jack Taschner from Triple-A Albuquerque, optioning catcher A.J. Ellis to make room.
Taschner, 32, spent parts of the last five seasons in the Major Leagues with the Giants and Phillies. He pitched for Pittsburgh this year before being released and had a 3.60 ERA in 10 games with Albuquerque after being signed by the Dodgers.
Manager Joe Torre said the Dodgers are likely to bring up an outfielder (Jay Gibbons is a candidate) as early as Thursday, but a reliever was needed for Wednesday. The Dodgers currently have 13 pitchers and only four bench players.
"We need an arm down there," said Torre. "We decided our bullpen needs shoring up."
So James McDonald, who started and lost on Monday night, has been sent to the bullpen.
"He gives us a power arm in the middle," said Torre. "We'll figure out who pitches Saturday."
Carlos Monasterios is a candidate, said Torre, but so are John Ely and Claudio Vargas. He said Ramon Troncoso was considered for promotion instead of Taschner, but he pitched two innings last night. And some in the organization want to promote hard-throwing converted catcher Kenley Jansen from Double-A.
And then there's the possibility that general manager Ned Colletti will acquire a starter or reliever via trade. The Dodgers are rumored to be involved in talks for just about every pitcher on the trade block, from starters Paul Maholm, Brett Myers and Ted Lilly to relievers Octavio Dotel and David Aardsma.
"We're going to be doing some things," said Torre.
Torre said he noticed that closer Jonathan Broxton, two days after throwing 44 pitches and blowing a save in St. Louis, was throwing a 91-mph fastball on Tuesday night, well below his usual velocity.
"He says he's fine," said Torre. "Right now, he looks a little out of whack. A lot of it is mechanical."