The move comes one day after Ely delivered a superb outing against the Brewers in his second Major League start, allowing one earned run in 6 2/3 innings. Manager Joe Torre had said before -- and after -- Ely's Thursday night start that he was likely to be demoted regardless of how he pitched because of roster concerns.
Ely must remain at Albuquerque a minimum of 10 days -- unless another pitcher is injured, in which case Ely can be recalled. Ely's spot in the rotation would come around Tuesday night in Arizona. Fellow rookie Carlos Monasterios is the most likely candidate for that start.
"It had nothing to do with his performance -- it was one of the best of the season of anybody," general manager Ned Colletti said of the decision to option Ely.
"We needed a roster spot to activate Weaver and we're at a stage where we'll play it day to day. Things change every day and you never know what happens each day. We don't need a starter until we get to Tuesday. We have to get through Friday first."
Weaver was on the disabled list with what was a lower back strain, although his injury coincided with the need of a roster spot for the return of reliever Hong-Chih Kuo from the disabled list.
The Dodgers made the announcement after the media was cleared out of the clubhouse, so Ely was not available for comment.
After Thursday night's game, however, he said: "If I go down, I'll just go and keep throwing the ball. What else can you do? I knew coming up it wasn't a permanent thing."