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On second thought, Dodgers decide John Ely could use some time in Albuquerque; Jon Link called up

July 11, 2010 |  4:18 pm
About that Joe Torre comment that struggling John Ely would remain in the rotation … yesterday’s news.

By Sunday Ely was headed back to triple-A Albuquerque and the Dodgers had called up reliever Jon Link.

Just when you thought the rotation might actually be settled, new upheaval. Some themes just won’t go away.

Torre said Saturday after the Dodgers’ 7-3 loss to the Cubs, he planned to stick with Ely. But then came a conversation with general manager Ned Colletti and new plans were hatched.

"We just decided he needs to get back on track," Torre said. "And in talking to John today, he certainly understood that. He’s going down there with the attitude we need him to have."

Ely was terrific in his first seven starts (2.54 ERA), but has mostly struggled since. In his last two starts, he couldn’t pitch out of the third inning.

"I’m not getting the job done," Ely said.

Because of the All-Star breaking beginning Monday, the fifth starter in the Dodgers rotation isn’t scheduled until July 19 against the Giants.

"By the time we get there, we’ll have one," Torre said. "Right now, today, we talked about JMac [James McDonald], who’s pitching today. We’ll see what that looks like.

"If we need to go bullpen for that particular day, we will. But we have a little time before we have to make that decision."

Sunday, McDonald allowed one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 2-1 Albuquerque victory over Omaha. He walked four and struck out two. He is 5-1 with a 4.73 ERA overall, but has a 2.70 ERA in his last three games since a stint the disabled list with a strained hamstring.

Torre said if the Dodgers elect to make it a bullpen start, rookie Carlos Monasterios could get the call. Monasterios (3-2, 3.91 ERA) previously started six games this season.

Right now, however, the Dodgers have an extra reliever for Sunday’s game against the Cubs and for the four games in St. Louis when they return from the break.

Then McDonald, who was the team’s fifth starter coming out of camp last year before struggling (1-1, 8.78 ERA in four starts), is likely to get the start against the Giants.

-- Steve Dilbeck