Dodgers’ rotation is set up for Chris Capuano (or Stephen Fife) to start September 1.

Chris Capuano

Chris Capuano is 4-6 with a 4.70 earned-run average in 19 games (17 starts) this season for the Dodgers. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers have an off-day in their schedule next Thursday. It’s a chance for Don Mattingly to reset his rotation by skipping Chris Capuano‘s scheduled turn Aug. 31 and having Zack Greinke start against the San Diego Padres instead.

Instead, the manager said he’ll give his starters an extra day of rest.

“We traditionally try to use those days to get guys pitching on their sixth day so everybody gets an extra day,” Mattingly said. “especially this time of year as you get into August. We have no plans of skipping anybody at this point.”

That means Capuano, who has a 7.53 ERA in his last three starts, will pitch twice next week: Sunday and presumably again Saturday on his next turn through the rotation:

Sunday, Aug. 25 vs. Boston: Capuano
Monday, Aug. 26 vs. Chicago Cubs: Greinke
Tuesday, Aug. 27 vs. Chicago Cubs: Clayton Kershaw
Wednesday, Aug. 28 vs. Chicago Cubs: Ricky Nolasco
Thursday: Off day
Friday, Aug. 30 vs. San Diego Cubs: Hyun-Jin Ryu

Or will he?

Sept. 1 is the day when major-league rosters are allowed to expand past 25. The Dodgers can recall pitcher Stephen Fife from Triple-A Albuquerque to start that day against the Padres.

Fife had a strange, short career in the Isotopes’ bullpen that lasted all of two appearances, Aug. 10 and 14. The experiment ended on Aug. 19, when Fife started against the Oklahoma City RedHawks and faced eight batters, allowing six runs, before being pulled.

Assuming he maintains a schedule of five days rest, Fife’s next turn in the rotation is tomorrow. After that, he’s on track to pitch Aug. 29 — a start he presumably wouldn’t make if he’s going to pitch for the Dodgers two days later. Mattingly wouldn’t tip his hand about who is starting a game 10 days in advance, but he did say that Fife isn’t going back to the bullpen anytime soon.

“We’ve got him set up to start and we’re going to keep him moving in that direction,” Mattingly said of Fife.

The right-hander is 4-3 with a 2.47 earned-run average in nine starts with the Dodgers this season. He’s battled a pair of bouts with shoulder bursitis this season, a recurrence of an injury he battled as a minor-league pitcher in the Red Sox organization.

Capuano, a lefty, is 4-6 with a 4.70 ERA this season, and has already pitched out of a long-relief role at times.

Assuming Fife can last beyond eight batters in his next start, it’s not hard to imagine the Dodgers moving Capuano back to the bullpen again.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.