DENVER -- To bolster a taxed bullpen, the Dodgers on Monday called up a fresh arm from Triple-A Albuquerque in Josh Wall and sent down reliever Shawn Tolleson to Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Tolleson allowed back-to-back home runs to Jose Reyes and Carlos Lee in the ninth inning of Sunday's 6-2 loss against the Marlins, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the decision had more to do with when Tolleson pitched than how he pitched. He had pitched scoreless relief in 13 of his previous 14 appearances until Sunday, which was his third outing in five days.
"It's just protection," said Mattingly. "We had to use the bullpen, and coming in here [Coors Field], you know what can happen."
Mattingly pointed out that setup man Ronald Belisario pitched Saturday and Sunday, so he effectively was off-limits Monday. The 3 1/3-inning start by the injured Chad Billingsley on Friday further strained the relievers.
Tolleson leaves with a 3.42 ERA in 25 games, and the first batters he faces in an outing are only 2-for-22 against him, but he won't be down long. He can return to the Dodgers on Sept. 3, the day Rancho Cucamonga's season ends. The Class A club's season ends before any other Dodgers affiliate, which is why Tolleson was assigned there. Albuquerque's regular season ends Sept. 3, but the club then has playoffs.
Wall was recently named to the All-Pacific Coast League team. He picked up a win in his only Major League appearance on July 22. He had a 1.98 ERA and a .188 opponents' batting average in 14 relief appearances with Albuquerque since the All-Star break, going a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities during that span.
Moves to cost Gordon, Rivera playing time
DENVER -- The big losers in the Dodgers' recent moves, at least in playing time, appear to be injured shortstop Dee Gordon and infielder/outfielder Juan Rivera.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Monday he does not intend to return Gordon to the lineup when he rejoins the club when rosters expand next month. Gordon is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque as he completes recovery from surgery for a torn thumb ligament.
At the time of the injury, Gordon was the team's starting shortstop and leadoff hitter. Since then, Hanley Ramirez has been added and is playing shortstop, while Shane Victorino is the leadoff hitter. And Luis Cruz has surprisingly won a starting job as the third baseman.
"Right now, I'm not messing around," Mattingly said of the lineup. "The guys are swinging good. I think I'll leave Hanley there for now. Cruz has been good. So, I don't want to mess with what we're doing now, and want to see how Dee is going to be."
Gordon was given the dual role of leadoff man/shortstop last year when Rafael Furcal was traded. But the major roster changes fueled by new ownership have dramatically changed the club's philosophy. Mattingly originally planned on moving Ramirez back to third base when Gordon was healthy, but that was before Cruz turned into a clutch, run-producing .301 hitter entering Monday.
Rivera is the other player who will lose playing time. He had become nearly an everyday player between time in left field and at first base, but with Victorino in left and Adrian Gonzalez at first, Rivera is back to the bench.
"I don't think I have to explain anything to him," Mattingly said. "Juan's been around long enough. I've got a good feeling he's got a good idea what's going on."
Dodgers to keep an eye out for pitching
DENVER -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he currently is not engaged in any meaningful trade conversations for starting pitching, but added that he's still on the lookout for upgrades as he fulfills ownership's "win-now" mandate.
"If we think we can improve the club, we will," said Colletti.
Although he has added Josh Beckett and Joe Blanton this month, the apparent loss of Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly leaves the Dodgers exposed should another starting pitcher fall.
"I think with us, we're always willing to add," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Billingsley has been shut down since injuring his elbow Friday night, which wasn't the case when he went on the disabled list after the All-Star break. He said he expects to have a contrast MRI at the end of the week when the inflammation subsides and receive a definitive diagnosis, but the club is not expecting good news.
Lilly, trying desperately to return from shoulder problems since late May, injured his back lifting weights on Sunday.
"He didn't look good," said Mattingly, whose playing career was shortened by back problems.
Meanwhile, Matt Guerrier is expected to rejoin the club when rosters expand after missing four months with elbow tendinosis.
And infielder Jerry Hairston has surgery set for Sept. 7 to repair an impingement and torn labrum in his left hip. The surgery will be performed in Vail by Dr. Marc Philippon, who will repair the tear in the joint and shave the head of the femur, which causes the tear. Hairston will have a rehab of three to six months.
"After doing a lot of praying and gathering information, I decided to have surgery," Hairston said. "Even though the desire to play is overwhelming, I can't put my own interests ahead of my teammates, the staff, the Dodgers organization or fans. I will enjoy watching my teammates' success and hopefully pour a lot of champagne. Go Dodgers."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.