Dodgers put Haeger on DL; Link recalled
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers knuckleballer Charlie Haeger went back onto the 15-day disabled list on Monday when it became apparent the pain in his sprained right big toe was worse than he originally had let on.
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Haeger had been activated just last Thursday after a stay of more than three weeks with what originally was termed "plantar fasciitis," although that move was made primarily because Haeger wasn't pitching well and the Dodgers needed a roster spot. But while pitching on a minor league rehabilitation assignment with high Class A Inland Empire, Haeger suffered a real injury to his toe while turning to make a pickoff throw to first base.
Torre made it clear, both to Haeger and to the media, when Haeger was activated that he wasn't entirely comfortable with the move. But the Dodgers had played a 14-inning game the previous day, sapping their bullpen, and they needed another arm.
When Haeger finally got into a game on Saturday night against Atlanta -- his only appearance in between DL stints -- it became apparent to Torre that he still wasn't right.
"He was just anxious to pitch, and we just needed somebody we could throw in there in an emergency," Torre said. "But just watching the couple of innings he pitched, it just didn't look right to me. He threw fastballs that were over people's heads, and the knuckleball, it looked like [catcher] Russell [Martin] didn't have any problem catching them, which was a sign to me that it wasn't dancing the way it should."
Haeger is 0-4 with a 8.53 ERA in eight games, including five starts.
Reliever Jon Link was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to take Haeger's roster spot, his third callup of the season, but Torre told Link he probably won't be in the majors longer than 24 hours before reliever George Sherrill is expected to come off the DL on Tuesday.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.