Paco Rodriguez thinks he can pitch tonight. When he really might join the Dodgers’ bullpen.

Paco Rodriguez

Paco Rodriguez has been on the disabled list since August 3 with a strained muscle near his left armpit. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Paco Rodriguez thinks he can pitch this weekend.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “If I feel good I’ll be the first one to tell you I can be activated.”

But then, why wait? How about tonight?

“I can do it,” Rodriguez said.

That won’t happen. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that he’ll give Rodriguez’s strained left teres major muscle 48 hours to prove it can recover from a 30-pitch bullpen session Wednesday. The 23-year-old left-hander will travel with the Dodgers to San Francisco and pitch a simulated game either Friday or Saturday at AT&T Park.

“Really good, I thought,” Mattingly said of Rodriguez’s bullpen performance. “One hundred percent velocity wise — he said it’s as hard as he can throw in the ‘pen. … His stuff was good today. He was sharp.”

Mattingly added that it’s hard to count too much on a pitcher who he hasn’t seen in a game since the beginning of August, but “it’s nice to have a second lefty. When you have one lefty it puts you in a bind.”

J.P. Howell is currently the only left-hander in the Dodgers’ bullpen. Mattingly noted that Onelki Garcia‘s name has also crossed his radar and wouldn’t rule out adding him as a third left-handed reliever down the stretch. Garcia, who’s been on the disabled list since the season began, has been rehabbing with Double-A Chattanooga.

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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.