"It was a tough decision. The number one component was to get Mike up here," manager Dave Roberts said. "Culberson did a lot of good things for us, but that was the move that made the most sense."
Optioning a position player to make room for a pitcher will leave the Dodgers with a short bench until another move is made. Roberts' justification for the imbalance was that playing in an American League stadium with the designated hitter lowered the need for bench players.
Roberts also said the team was likely to go back to a regular bench for this weekend's series in San Diego and not carry six starters long-term, so Bolsinger's performance Wednesday could determine if it's him or Ross Stripling taken out of the rotation.
"After tonight, we'll have a little more clarity where we want to go forward," Roberts said.
Bolsinger has been on the disabled list all season after suffering an oblique strain in the later stages of Spring Training. Across two rehab starts with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he allowed two earned runs in eight innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. He was on an 80-pitch limit for Wednesday's start after reaching 63 pitches in his final rehab appearance.
Roberts said possible options in the Minor Leagues to fill the empty bench spot include Micah Johnson, Austin Barnes, and Rob Segedin. Segedin isn't on the 40-man roster, so a corresponding move would be needed. Alex Guerrero, who is on a rehab assignment with Double-A Tulsa, is also a possibility.
Adrian Gonzalez (back) could be in the lineup as soon as Thursday or Friday and was available to pinch-hit Wednesday. Roberts said that the first baseman is feeling better since sustaining the injury and a stint on the DL is unlikely.
Scott Van Slyke (back) is working out at the Dodgers' Spring Training facility in Arizona and will soon start a rehab assignment expected to be about seven days long.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.