LA keeping Bolsinger stretched out in Minors

LA keeping Bolsinger stretched out in Minors

LOS ANGELES -- As the Dodgers made a pair of deals for pitching at the Trade Deadline, Mike Bolsinger was one arm that remained when the music stopped.

Bolsinger, currently in Triple-A Oklahoma City, is the next man up if something were to happen to any starting pitcher. The righty, however, also has been working out of the bullpen in the Minors. Bolsinger provided 3 2/3 innings of perfect relief for Oklahoma City on Sunday, striking out five.

While the Dodgers could eventually call up Bolsinger as a reliever, manager Don Mattingly is shying away from the possibility.

"We can't think of Bolsinger coming out of the 'pen from the standpoint of not keeping him stretched out," Mattingly said. "We've got to have him [available to start] in case something were to happen to a starter."

Mattingly said the team will continue having Bolsinger start and work from the bullpen in the Minors, but his pitch count will stay up to keep him ready as a potential starter. Bolsinger has proved to be effective at the Major League level; he's 5-3 this season with a 2.83 ERA in 16 starts.

Mattingly mentioned frequent callup Ian Thomas as the team's primary option for a "long man" out of the bullpen right now.

"If we wanted a true long man, it wouldn't be Bolsinger right now," Mattingly said. "The long man doesn't pitch, in general. He doesn't get in the game that often, and that's the one thing you don't want with Bolsinger. You want him to stay sharp."

Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.