Dayton optioned to clear spot for Hill

Dayton optioned to clear spot for Hill

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers optioned reliever Grant Dayton to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for pitcher Rich Hill to start Tuesday night's game against the Giants at AT&T Park.

Dayton made 14 relief appearances, going 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA and has held the opposition to a .209 average. He pitched 1 1/3 innings Monday night.

"For Grant, the direction, the line to home plate to the catcher, the life in the zone and swing and miss hasn't been there," said manager Dave Roberts. "When he goes glove side, it's a yank. Just to get him away and get him right will benefit him and us."

By sending Dayton out, the Dodgers bullpen is down to one left-hander, Luis Avilan. Roberts said he'd prefer to carry two lefty relievers, but he ruled out 20-year-old starter Julio Urias as a possibility. Urias allowed six runs in four innings at Coors Field on Sunday.

"Right now, we don't view Julio as a bullpen piece," Roberts said. "For him, with an abbreviated spring, this gives him a good runway to make his starts and get on a consistent program, and we're not prepared to consider him for the 'pen."

Roberts further said that left-handed reliever Adam Liberatore, on the 10-day disabled list with a strained groin, is expected to be a short-term absence. He's eligible to return Friday.

Kenta Maeda is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday, and the Dodgers have not announced a starter for that game. Hill, meanwhile, is coming off his second stint on the disabled list because of chronic finger blisters.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.