Hatcher returns, while Nicasio heads to DL

Hatcher returns, while Nicasio heads to DL

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers did some shuffling in their bullpen as Chris Hatcher was activated from the 60-day disabled list and Juan Nicasio was placed on the 15-day DL with a left abdominal strain.

Hatcher, who has an 0-3 record with a 6.38 ERA in his first season in Los Angeles, has been out since June 14 as he dealt with a strained oblique.

"I started out pretty rough, then kind of make a little move, and then get injured," Hatcher said of his frustrations this season. "It drug out further than I thought it would."

Hatcher made eight rehab starts between Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City. In those outings, Hatcher posted a 7.36 ERA, allowing six runs in 7 1/3 innings. Hatcher said he's been medically cleared for about a week and is ready to return.

"I've thrown enough," Hatcher said. "I haven't had the success that you look for, but I'm healthy and the ball is coming out good."

As for how Hatcher fits into a struggling Dodger bullpen, manager Don Mattingly said his goal was to try to ease the 30-year-old back into the mix as much as possible.

"You try to get a clean inning. You try to find a spot where you're not throwing the full fire at him, but sometimes you can't avoid it," Mattingly said. "You've seen different flashes of good outings, but he just hasn't been as consistent."

As for Nicasio, he hasn't pitched since Aug. 9 and has a 3.06 ERA in 38 appearances this year. Mattingly said Nicasio injured his abdomen while warming up before Thursday's game.

Mattingly said Nicasio had an MRI on Friday that "didn't show a whole lot" of damage, and Nicasio said he was confident he'd be ready in the minimum number of days.

"It's a situation where we're at day five of it and it didn't make sense to try to wait four days without another guy and try to push him and then all of a sudden have a long-term thing," Mattingly said. "It's kind of a no-brainer. He's not a guy we want on the DL."

To make room for Hatcher on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers placed starting pitcher Carlos Frias on the 60-day disabled list as he continues to deal with lower back tightness.

Worth noting

• Right-hander Trevor Cahill exercised an opt-out clause in his Minor League contract with Triple-A Oklahoma City and is now a free agent.

The 27-year-old Cahill was released by the Braves in June and has been in the Dodgers' farm system for the past month. Cahill was 1-3 with a 6.28 ERA for Triple-A Oklahoma City, and didn't last more than six innings in any of his six starts.

With the Braves this season, Cahill was 0-3 with a 7.52 ERA in 15 appearances, including three starts. Cahill was an All-Star with the A's in 2010, but hasn't recaptured that form in recent years.

Steve Bourbonis an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.