SAN FRANCISCO -- Rubby De La Rosa, the organization's most impressive pitching prospect this spring, has yet to make his season debut and instead is on the bereavement list after the death in the Dominican Republic of the 71-year-old grandmother that reared him.
De La Rosa, 22, was assigned to Double-A Chattanooga for this season. Last year he was the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He went 4-1 with a 3.19 ERA at Class A Great Lakes, blossoming after being moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation and earning a promotion to Chattanooga, where he was even better -- 3-1, 1.41.
De La Rosa's parents never married or parented, as he lived from birth in Santo Domingo with his grandmother and worked in a food warehouse as the family's sole provider between the ages of 12 and 15, when he started to play baseball. He signed with the Dodgers at age 18 for a modest $15,000 bonus.
Garland to debut Friday against Cardinals
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jon Garland will start for the Dodgers on Friday night against the Cardinals, manager Don Mattingly said Monday after the club sent pitcher John Ely back to Triple-Albuquerque and recalled outfielder Jamie Hoffmann from the Isotopes.
Ely made the spot start Sunday for Garland, who instead made a rehab start at Class A Rancho Cucamonga to ensure that a strained oblique muscle was fully healed. Garland allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings, but came out of it healthy.
"It feels exactly how it would if I went out and pitched a game," said Garland, who missed a Major League start for the first time in 10 years and didn't agree with management that it was necessary. "Last night I was packing and I remembered how it felt after a start, my body achy and tired, there it is, but in a good way. If I can start there, I can start anywhere, right?"
After being removed from that game, Garland went to the bullpen to up his pitch count to 90. Meanwhile, Ely pitched into the sixth inning, but allowed four runs and a pair of home runs to the Padres in a 7-2 loss.
The Dodgers won't activate Garland until Friday, so in the meantime they brought up Hoffmann to give them an extra bat. The choice of Hoffmann meant that outfielder Jay Gibbons, who started the season with Albuquerque on a rehab assignment, still hasn't overcome vision problems that have plagued him since a "touch-up" laser operation over the winter.
"He had trouble with his contacts in the wind," Mattingly said of Gibbons. "We've got to get him right first before we do anything there. I don't know what to say about that."
Blake out of lineup with charley horse
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake, who was said to have escaped uninjured from his collision with Padres baserunner Chase Headley at the end of Saturday night's game in San Diego, was unable to start Monday night against the Giants.
Blake has a deep left thigh bruise, or charley horse, after the walk-off interference call on Headley, whose knee slammed into Blake as the third baseman was trying to field Cameron Maybin's slow roller. Blake did not start Sunday, either, but at the time Mattingly said he was available and just being rested.
"It got a little worse overnight," manager Don Mattingly said Monday. "He has trouble running and going side to side. There's concern the area can pool up [with blood] and take extra time [to heal] and we want to stay away from that. He can pinch-hit. He's kind of day to day."
The 38-year-old Blake was injured in only his third game back after opening the season on the disabled list with inflammation of the thoracic spine area.
Juan Uribe started at third base against his former team and Jamey Carroll started at second base. Rafael Furcal, who missed two games with a sore left wrist, returned to the lineup at shortstop.
In other injury news, pitcher Vicente Padilla resumed throwing after taking a few days off because of soreness in his surgically repaired forearm.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.