LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers promoted Cuban left-handed reliever Onelki Garcia to the Major Leagues on Wednesday to help ease the workload of fellow lefties Paco Rodriguez and J.P. Howell over the final weeks of the season.
Garcia made his debut in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the D-backs, but was pulled after walking the only batter he faced on four pitches.
Rodriguez has made 70 appearances in his first full season in the Majors, tied for the most on the Dodgers and fourth in the National League. Howell has pitched 55 1/3 innings, his heartiest workload in four years, over 59 appearances.
"Onelki will hopefully be able to take a little pressure off those guys as far as usage, and it gives him a little experience," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "We felt like it's a good time to protect Paco and J.P. At the same time, it gives him a little taste of what's going on here. Hopefully it's something positive for him moving forward."
Garcia, the organization's No. 8 prospect according to MLB.com, had been working out at the Dodgers' Spring Training facility at Camelback Ranch-Glendale, throwing bullpen sessions and live batting practice. Dodgers vice president of player development De Jon Watson called Garcia Tuesday night to inform him of the promotion.
Garcia, who turned 24 on Aug. 2, went a combined 2-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 35 games (six starts) with Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Albuquerque this season. He is 6-3 and 220 pounds, with a mid-90s fastball and overhand curve.
The native of Guantanamo, Cuba, was eligible for the First-Year Player Draft in 2012 and taken in the third round. He spent most of this year at Double-A, being promoted to Triple-A Aug. 11. With Albuquerque, he had 14 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings.
"I put in a lot of work in Double-A and things went well," Garcia said through a translator. "Thank God I'm here. When I got to this country all I could think about was getting to the big leagues."
Would Garcia be considered for October action should the Dodgers face a club with several left-handed hitters, like Cincinnati, as a third southpaw out of the bullpen?
"If he was going to be a candidate, we would have had him here right away," Mattingly said. "But at the same time, if something happens to one of your lefties you start talking about different options."
To make room on the 40-man roster for Garcia, the Dodgers moved reliever Shawn Tolleson from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. Tolleson had lower back surgery April 25 and his recovery was slowed by hip and groin discomfort.
Dodgers, D-backs honor first responders
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was at his home in Evansville, Ill., cleaning out horse stalls in his barn during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The Dodgers and D-backs joined the rest of Major League Baseball in paying tribute to first responders with a pregame ceremony before Wednesday night's contest at Dodger Stadium.
With the baselines filled by first responders and U.S. Coast Guard second class petty officer Michael Dalager singing the national anthem, two members of FDNY in center field helped unfurl an American flag that was recovered from the wreckage at Ground Zero. After a helicopter flyover, there was a moment of silence for the victims of 9/11.
Both clubs wore caps with an American flag patch embroidered on the left side, as did the umpires. There were also special lineup cards, and each base featured small placards that read, "We Shall Not Forget."
More than 500 veterans received tickets, shirts and a food and beverage voucher for the game as part of Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America Day, presented by Miller High Life. The Dodgers also hosted a group of veterans for batting practice and 125 veterans were recognized in center field before the game.
Kemp, Capuano closing in on returns to Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and pitcher Chris Capuano are rehabbing injuries, but they are still in the Dodgers' plans for the final weeks of the season.
Kemp ran on an anti-gravity treadmill Wednesday at the Dodgers' Spring Training facility at Camelback Ranch-Glendale for the first time since experiencing tightness in his right hamstring last week. The club's medical staff is formulating a plan for Kemp to run the bases soon, though manager Don Mattingly said he's not sure of the timetable.
Kemp also got more at-bats in a simulated game Wednesday and the Dodgers remain optimistic he could play in the Majors before the end of the month. He has not appeared in a game above Class A since July 21, the result of a sprained left ankle.
"He was running good," Mattingly said. "Everything is really still pretty positive with all that. He swung the bat good again today."
Capuano, recovering from a strained left groin that forced him from his Friday start in Cincinnati, threw off a mound Wednesday afternoon, with Tim Federowicz catching from just in front of the plate. Capuano will throw a bullpen session this week and could then return to the rotation or assume a relief role.
"I think he's feeling pretty good about where it's going," Mattingly said.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.