DENVER -- Catcher A.J. Ellis, who knows something about the numbers game from his days of being optioned to the Minor Leagues, went on the 15-day disabled list Sunday mainly because the Dodgers needed a 25-man roster spot.
Believing pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu would miss only one start with a bruised foot, they didn't want to disable Ryu for 15 days to make room for spot starter Matt Magill in Sunday's series finale against the Rockies.
Ellis suffered a legitimate, if slight, oblique strain Wednesday. He's pretty much healed by now, but with sudden depth behind the plate from Ramon Hernandez and Tim Federowicz, the roster roulette wheel landed on Ellis' No. 17.
"We didn't think it would be only two or three days or 15, but long enough that we had to do something," said manager Don Mattingly.
This is the first time Ellis has been on a disabled list at any level since he broke his hand in his third professional game in 2003.
Dodgers play it safe, recalling Magill to start for Ryu
DENVER -- The Dodgers decided to be safe rather than sorry, so they scratched Hyun-Jin Ryu from Sunday's start against the Rockies and replaced him with Matt Magill, who was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. They placed catcher A.J. Ellis on the 15-day disabled list to make room for the rookie right-hander.
Ryu, still sore from a Mark Trumbo comebacker that nailed the top of his left foot in his Tuesday night two-hitter, will throw a rare bullpen session Monday to test the foot. The club believes he can start Thursday or Friday.
While some might question Ryu's comments about not wanting to pitch unless he felt 100 percent healthy, manager Don Mattingly isn't among them.
"I don't want him doing something to his arm because he's not pushing off," said Mattingly. "Him and Clayton [Kershaw] use their legs more than any of our guys. It's so important. Any little change can affect the arm in some way, and that's what we don't want to do. He'll be the one to make the call. He says he'll be ready later this week.
"I'd rather him be honest and miss a start and pitch in four days or three days than to not be right and go out and hurt himself. You want guys to play, but not if they'll hurt themselves. With him, that's something fairly serious with pitchers. You can change the angle a little bit. Next thing you know, you're hurting things. That's being smart. The other route, he gets hurt and misses three months and they say, 'Why'd he pitch?' and nobody remembers he took one for the team."
Magill is expected to be up for one start, then sent back down after the game, which would make room for the promotion of an outfielder -- most likely Yasiel Puig. Of course, as with anything Dodger, that could change.
Magill last started for Albuquerque on May 25 and was synched with the start of Ted Lilly, who was coming off the disabled list. After Ryu was injured, the Dodgers withheld Magill so he would be fresh if needed to replace Ryu.
Short-handed LA may have to get creative in finale
DENVER -- The Dodgers are playing so short-handed Sunday that manager Don Mattingly told pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to have their spikes and bats ready for pinch-hitting duties in the finale at Coors Field.
In addition to Carl Crawford being unavailable with a tight left hamstring, second baseman Mark Ellis is hobbled, although Ellis wouldn't say what's wrong. He recently returned from a strained right quad. Jerry Hairston is playable, although his gait has looked pretty rough since he returned from a stint on the disabled list groin and knee issues.
Nick Punto started Sunday at second base, despite lower back soreness. Skip Schumaker started again in center field, although he's been dealing with a sore knee.
Mattingly hinted that a healthy body would arrive Monday -- speculated to be Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig.
"There will be another move," Mattingly said. "Right now, there are a lot of moving parts, so today is a short day. That's just the way it is, and we have to get through it."
Mattingly said Hanley Ramirez, who played shortstop Friday night and designated hitter Saturday night in his Class A rehab assignment for a strained hamstring, had a scheduled day off Sunday and would return to the field Monday. If all goes well, he could be called up by Tuesday night.
And pitcher Josh Beckett, disabled with numbness in his hand, left the club to fly to Texas for a Monday exam by nerve specialist Dr. Greg Pearl. Beckett said he's talked about his problem with other pitchers who have experienced numbness, but would not elaborate.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.