By Jon Weisman
The good news for the Dodgers is that after a six-week absence, righty reliever Pedro Baez has been activated from the disabled list.
Before suffering a right pectoral strain (while facing tonight’s Dodger opponent, the Miami Marlins), Baez had allowed 15 baserunners in 15 1/3 innings this season while striking out 22, with a 1.76 ERA and all 13 of his inherited runners stranded.
In his most recent 8 1/3 innings, from April 24 to May 13, Baez was unscored upon, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out 12 of the 30 batters he faced. He pitched three shutout innings in his three-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Ian Thomas, called up this week without making a pitch, has been sent back to Oklahoma City, whose starter tonight is the rehabbing Brandon Beachy. Beachy is expected to throw about 60 pitches. Another teammate, Brandon League, is scheduled for back-to-back rehab appearances this weekend.
Meanwhile, Yasiel Puig is still on the bench to allow a torn callous on the palm of his left hand to heal.
A.J. Ellis, who has reached base in 14 of his past 32 plate appearances with a .452 on-base percentage, is starting for the second day in a row. Yasmani Grandal was destined to get a day off in this series, and the Dodgers have decided to give it to him tonight so that Ellis can start against Marlins rookie lefty Justin Nicolino, who pitched seven shutout innings in his MLB debut June 20 against Cincinnati.