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John Ely to start for Dodgers on Sunday against Padres [Update: Hector Gimenez to DL]

April 10, 2011 |  2:16 am

L3xnkrnc It’s the return of John Ely. Anyway, his return for at least one game.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said after Saturday night’s game that the right-hander would be called up from triple-A Albuquerque and start Sunday’s series finale against the Padres.

That means, naturally, a player has to be sent down. That part of the equation he did not share. It’s presumed to be catcher A.J. Ellis, who has options left, as opposed to catcher Hector Gimenez, who does not. Personally, I’d stick with Ellis -- who turned 30 Saturday -- over Gimenez, who really hasn’t shown anything during the early going.

[Updated, 11:04 a.m.: Guess there was a reason the Dodgers did not announce who was making room for Ely on Saturday night. They were still making up their minds.

At first on Sunday, the Dodgers said Ellis was going down to triple-A Albuquerque and he was packing his bags. Then he was unpacking them. The Dodgers said Gimenez had right knee pain and placed him on the 15-day disabled list. Ellis was back.]

Ely will be starting in the fifth spot that is supposed to belong to Jon Garland. But the right-hander injured his side during spring training and had to be shut down. Garland, however, thinks he is ready to return, so Ely is likely standing in for just the one start.

He got the call over Tim Redding, partially because Ely is already on the 40-man roster. To start Redding, the Dodgers would have had to add him to the 40-man roster, which would have guaranteed his $750,000 salary. Which, even if you weren’t hurting, is a lot of money to pay for possibly just one start.

Ely filled in last year, too, and hung around awhile. During an early, six-game stretch, he went 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA. Alas, in his last 11 starts he went 1-8 with an 8.00 ERA.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher John Ely. Credit: Ben Liebenberg / US Presswire

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