SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers are back to pondering fifth-starter candidates now that Rubby De La Rosa needs Tommy John surgery, and his replacement could be another hard-throwing youngster, Nathan Eovaldi.
Manager Don Mattingly was non-committal about who would slide into De La Rosa's spot in the rotation, which was to come up Saturday night. Because of a scheduled day off Thursday, his spot could be skipped and a fifth starter would not be needed until Tuesday.
Mattingly didn't deny that Eovaldi's name is near or at the top of the list.
"Eovaldi, I've heard, that's for sure," he said. "There are guys that we consistently hear about that are throwing the ball good. That's one I've heard."
Eovaldi, only 21, is 6-5 with a 2.62 ERA at Double-A Chattanooga. The Dodgers were able to select him in the 11th round of the 2008 Draft because he had Tommy John surgery in his junior year of high school. Allen Webster and Chris Withrow are also on a Chattanooga pitching staff that has already sent De La Rosa, Javy Guerra and Josh Lindblom to the Dodgers this season.
Mattingly said that John Ely, promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque Monday when De La Rosa was placed on the disabled list, would pitch out of the bullpen and apparently not be considered for a start. Ely had started exclusively for Albuquerque.