LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers still plan to use a fifth starter next Sunday in San Diego and still plan to pick between John Ely, who is on the 40-man roster, and Tim Redding, who is not.
But manager Don Mattingly conceded Sunday that Jon Garland is lobbying to make that start as he improves rapidly from a strained oblique.
"He's trying to talk us into it," Mattingly said of Garland, who was signed to be the fifth starter after pitching for the Padres last year. "We'll see how that goes."
Both Ely and Redding will pitch Tuesday in an extended spring training game in Arizona, which puts them on schedule to pitch Sunday.
"We're happy with both guys," said Mattingly.
Whichever player is promoted will require the Dodgers to demote a player off the 25-man active roster. But adding Redding will also require guaranteeing his $750,000 contract and moving a player off the 40-man roster to make room for him.
Mattingly said Vicente Padilla pitched four innings in a simulated game, which makes him close to returning from radial nerve surgery. And outfielder Jay Gibbons, adjusting to new contact lenses, will have a rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque before he returns.