LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers made their first September callup Friday before the opener of a three-game set with the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
A.J. Ellis, the big league backup for most of the season, returned just 12 days after he was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room for Rod Barajas. Los Angeles claimed Barajas off waivers from the Mets to get some pop behind the plate.
Ellis is hitting .208 in 72 at-bats this season. He gives the Dodgers a third catcher behind Barajas and Brad Ausmus.
"It was good to go down there and help them get into the pennant race," said Ellis, who knew when he was optioned he would most likely return in short order.
The Dodgers' other callups, expected to be an infielder and some pitchers, will likely wait until Albuquerque's season ends. The Isotopes (70-69) entered Friday two games behind Pacific Coast League American South division leader Oklahoma City (72-67). Four games remain in the Isotopes' regular season, all on the road against the 16-team league's worst team, Round Rock (55-85).
Furcal activated, starts vs. Giants
LOS ANGELES -- Shortstop Rafael Furcal returned to the Dodgers lineup Friday night, one month after he went on the disabled list effective Aug. 3.
Furcal said he was ready to play after straining his lower back, a scary injury for a 32-year-old who's already had disk surgery. Furcal went 3-for-5 with a homer, triple and four RBIs in two rehab games for Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday and Thursday.
"It's very nice," Furcal said. "The first at-bat [Wednesday] was a big test for me when I hit a triple."
Furcal batted leadoff Friday with Scott Podsednik sitting against the left-handed Barry Zito. Furcal will likely bat second when Podsednik is in the lineup, manager Joe Torre said.
Vicente Padilla, who had been on the disabled list with a bulging disk in his neck, was officially activated Friday and is slated to start for the Dodgers on Monday in San Diego.
The Dodgers also got their second baseman back Friday after Ryan Theriot didn't start the last two games because of a hyperextended left knee. Theriot batted second Friday, the spot he's been in most with Furcal out. Torre said he didn't know where Theriot would slot in when Podsednik and Furcal are both in the lineup.
Test confirms Martin's hip healing well
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers catcher Russell Martin went for a routine CT scan on his right hip Wednesday and received good news, as was expected.
"The fracture probably will heal within the next three weeks, and that's all I can do is just stay on my crutches and kind of keep my weight off it as much as I can and it will just heal on its own," said Martin, who is out for the season. "So I don't need surgery, anything like that; it'll be just as it was before the injury. I got lucky."
Martin's injury is listed as a labral tear in his right hip, but the injury is better described as a fracture of the right hip socket. It was the nature of the microfracture in the socket, whether it was even or uneven, that led to the discussion of surgery.
"The labrum is involved in the sense that it's attached to where the fracture is," team athletic trainer Stan Conte said. "But there's nothing to do surgically with the labrum. The question was really whether to fix the fracture with screws. We felt the alignment was perfect, and that's the opinion we got from another hip specialist. This CT scan was to make sure nothing had changed."
Martin, 27, is to remain on crutches for the next three weeks. He is eligible for arbitration this offseason and could be non-tendered.
Dodgers pay tribute to team photographer
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers honored team photographer Jon SooHoo on Friday at Dodger Stadium in his 25th season with the club.
SooHoo threw out the ceremonial first pitch and received a in-game video tribute, along with gifts from both the Dodgers and the city of Los Angeles.
"I never could have expected to be here this long; it's neat," SooHoo said. "A lot of people have come and gone before me. It's definitely a surprise I'm still here. I was day-to-day when I first got here, day-to-day. Just hoping I could hang on."
A graduate of John Marshall High School in Los Angeles and USC, SooHoo began shooting for the Dodgers in 1985 and has covered major sporting events locally and nationally, including the World Series, Super Bowl and Bowl Championship Series games.
SooHoo spends about two-thirds of the year with the Dodgers.
Broadcaster Steiner to get honorary doctorate
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers play-by-play man Charley Steiner is to give the keynote address at the mid-year commencement ceremony of his alma mater Bradley University in December, when he'll also receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
Steiner, a Dodgers broadcaster for six years, graduated from Bradley (Peoria, Ill.) in 1971.
"We are honored to have such an accomplished alumnus like Charley Steiner address our graduates," Bradley president Joanne Glasser said. "We strive to bring speakers of national stature to inspire our students with their passion, wisdom and life experiences. I am confident that Charley will offer memorable reflections to our graduates and their families as they celebrate this important milestone in their lives."
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.