Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt on Edinson Volquez.

One day after the Dodgers reportedly signed Edinson Volquez, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt talked to MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM about what role the right-hander might have:

“I think the guys are pretty well set for this weekend, but we’ll get him in,” Honeycutt said. “Obivously he adds some depth to our pitching staff with us going forward. We’re able to expand the rosters starting Monday. We get some added depth in case there’s anything going on down the stretch.”

So it sounds like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Capuano and Zack Greinke will start in that order this weekend against the Padres.

The full interview:

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Daily Distractions: Ricky Nolasco would like to re-sign with the Dodgers.

Ricky Nolasco

Dodgers pitcher Ricky Nolasco becomes a free agent at the end of the season. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer)

Ricky Nolasco‘s next start will be his 10th in a Dodgers uniform. If the last two starts are any indication — the right-hander has pitched 16 innings and allowed zero runs against the Red Sox and Cubs, respectively — he’s grown quite comfortable pitching for his childhood team in a short amount of time.

While some professional athletes simply aren’t able to deal with the unique pressures of pitching near their hometown, Nolasco has adapted well, improving incrementally with each outing. A free agent at the end of the season, Nolasco chose his words carefully Wednesday when asked if he’d want to re-sign with the Dodgers.

“My teammates have been doing a great job of welcoming me here,” Nolasco said after blanking the Cubs. “As far as what the future holds, we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens. I’m from here, and this is where I want to be. We’ll just see what happens.

“I’ll focus right now on winning right now and all that will play itself out.”

The key words there — this is where I want to be — were easily lost yesterday, when Yasiel Puig‘s benching was the media focus after the game. (More on him in a bit.)

Since Magic Johnson and his Guggenheim Baseball Management cohorts bought the club, the Dodgers’ new owners have gone out of their way to show they are choosers, not beggars. This winter, they potentially can choose from a free-agent pitching crop that includes Nolasco, Matt Garza, Phil Hughes, Tim Lincecum, Ervin Santana, A.J. Burnett and Jon Lester (for whom the Red Sox hold a team option worth $13 million). You can certainly argue that Nolasco, who turns 31 in December, isn’t the best pitcher in that group. He isn’t the worst. More importantly, would any accept the job of fourth starter more willingly, with lower contract demands, than the Rialto right-hander?

That question ignores the Dodgers’ plans for Josh Beckett, prospect Zach Lee, and Chad Billingsley, who’s due to return from Tommy John surgery at some point next season if his rehab goes well. (All three would love to have a permanent spot in the Dodgers’ 2014 rotation behind Kershaw-Greinke-Ryu.) But it’s a question that the Dodgers will have to ponder if Nolasco continues to force his way into the team’s long-term blueprints.

Some more bullet points for an off day:
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Reports: Dodgers to sign Edinson Volquez.

Edinson Volquez

Edinson Volquez was 9-10 with a 6.01 earned-run average this season before he was placed on release waivers Wednesday by the San Diego Padres. (Getty Images)


According to multiple reports Wednesday, the Dodgers are on the verge of signing right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez to a major-league contract. Volquez was placed on release waivers earlier Wednesday by the San Diego Padres.

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Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp will begin rehabilitation assignment tomorrow in Rancho Cucamonga.

Kemp ankleDodgers manager Don Mattingly said that center fielder Matt Kemp will begin his long-awaited rehabilitation assignment tomorrow with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Kemp is scheduled to be the designated hitter in the Quakes’ 7 p.m. home game against the High Desert Mavericks.

“He passed all the tests,” Mattingly said.

Kemp sustained what’s believed to be a severe Grade 2 ankle sprain on July 21 in a game against the Washington Nationals. It was Kemp’s first game back after missing 15 days with inflammation in his right shoulder.

Wednesday was Kemp’s second straight day running the bases and making cuts in the outfield at close to full speed.

“It seems like it’s taken a while but we’re there. We survived,” Mattingly said. “Hopefully we get Matt sharp and it gives us options on our players.”

Kemp left without speaking to reporters after the game.

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Yasiel Puig removed from game after four innings.

Yasiel PuigYasiel Puig was benched four innings into the Dodgers’ game against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday for what appears to be a disciplinary reason.

Puig wasn’t injured when Skip Schumaker took over in right field with the Dodgers leading 2-0. Puig was 0 for 1 with a walk against Edwin Jackson and didn’t engage in any unusual behavior on the field. After being removed to the game, Puig calmly returned to the Dodgers’ dugout and took a seat on the topmost bench.

It’s possible that Don Mattingly wasn’t pleased when Puig didn’t slide into second base in the first inning when Carl Crawford hit a ground ball to second base, an eventual 4-6-3 double play. Puig also made a pair of one-handed “snatch” catches in right field, though he’s been making those regularly in his rookie season.

It’s also possible that Puig did something between innings, away from the field or dugout, that warranted his benching.

Puig was benched earlier this month for arriving late to a game in Miami, but he was in the Dodgers’ clubhouse on time this morning.

We’ll pass along what we learn as the game develops. The Dodgers are leading 4-0 in the sixth inning.

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