Zack Greinke returns to Los Angeles for birth of child; Dodgers’ weekend rotation ‘up in the air.’

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke has an active streak of 43 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)

NEW YORK — Zack Greinke‘s wife is about to give birth to the couple’s first child, and now the Dodgers don’t have a pitcher to start Friday’s game against the Mets as a result.

They already didn’t have a starter for Saturday and Sunday’s games here, either.

“I think we’ll be able to get someone in here to replace Zack,” manager Don Mattingly said Thursday. “It’s up in the air at this point.”
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Eric Stults will report to Double-A Tulsa.

Eric Stults Dodgers

Eric Stults broke into the major leagues with the Dodgers in 2006. (Getty Images)

DENVER — Left-handed pitcher Eric Stults, whom the Dodgers acquired in the recent trade that sent Juan Uribe to the Atlanta Braves, will report to Double-A Tulsa.

Stults had been designated for assignment immediately after the trade became official. By accepting an outright assignment, Stults returns to the club that drafted him in 2002 and employed him at the major league level from 2006-09.

In nine games (eight starts) for the Braves this season, Stults went 1-5 with a 5.85 earned-run average.

The Dodgers were ultimately able to keep all four players they acquired for Uribe and pitcher Chris Withrow in the organization. Pitcher Ian Thomas is in Triple-A, pitcher Juan Jaime is at extended spring training and infielder Alberto Callaspo is with the Dodgers.

Chris Cotillo of SBNation.com first reported that Stults accepted the outright assignment.

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The six-player Juan Uribe trade is official.

Juan Uribe

Juan Uribe is tagged out sliding into third base in the seventh inning of Monday’s game at Dodger Stadium, a 6-3 Dodgers win over the Atlanta Braves. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)


The Dodgers have traded Juan Uribe and pitcher Chris Withrow to the Atlanta Braves for Alberto Callaspo, Eric Stults, Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime. The trade became official Wednesday afternoon once the terms were approved by the commissioner’s office.

The terms of the deal were the same as reported last night.

Stults was designated for assignment, ending his second tenure as a Dodger before it really began. Jaime was sent to extended spring training and Thomas was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Only Callaspo joins the Dodgers’ active roster — wearing number 5, Uribe’s old number.

In an unrelated move, pitcher Sergio Santos was designated for assignment (thus clearing a 40-man roster spot for Thomas). Outfielder Chris Heisey was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and is expected to be in uniform for the Dodgers tonight.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is expected to discuss the trade prior to today’s game — against the Braves, so Uribe and Callaspo could be in opposite lineups at Dodger Stadium tonight.

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I spent six and a half innings in a hallway waiting for Juan Uribe, and all I wrote was this lousy blog.

I spent the first six innings of Tuesday night’s game standing in the hallway connecting the Dodgers and Braves clubhouses. That was a waste of time. So far as I can tell, only a bat and a little black book are going to Atlanta — not Juan Uribe, who must have watched the entire game from the Dodgers clubhouse, since he wasn’t in the dugout (or the hallway) after the National Anthem. Maybe he and Hyun-jin Ryu watched the game together. You all can use your imaginations.

Uribe is, of course, about to be traded to the Atlanta Braves. You don’t get choked up about trades that don’t happen. Teammates do not say their goodbyes if you’re going to be their teammate tomorrow.

If Uribe is a Dodger tomorrow, he’ll need a locker.

Multiple reports have the Dodgers receiving Eric Stults, Alberto Callaspo, Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime in return for Uribe and Chris Withrow. I can’t offer anything more than that, other than the fact that I saw more Dodgers front office officials hovering around the clubhouse today than any single day since the regular season began.

Check that. I can offer two more things:
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Eric Stults vs. Chad Billingsley presents an intriguing Padres-Dodgers pitching matchup.

Chad Billingsley

It wasn’t that long ago that San Diego Padres left-hander Eric Stults started against his former team. On Sept. 4 of last year, Stults limited the Dodgers to seven hits and one run in six innings at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers wound up losing that game 6-3 in 11 innings when John Ely imploded (the first time) in his first major-league game of the season.

Afterward Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he’d seen enough soft-tossing left-handers for a season. “We’re kind of seeing the same guy and not making enough adjustments,” he said. Turns out that the Dodgers weren’t alone in their misery facing Stults, who went 3-1 over his final four starts of last year, including two wins over the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants. Stults shut out the Mets for five innings to win his only start of 2013. For a guy who was relegated to Japan after being cut by the Dodgers in 2009, it’s a nice little comeback.

Stults will be opposed by Chad Billingsley, who was officially activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game. Interesting to note that both pitchers broke into the majors with the Dodgers in the same year (2006). Billingsley would start 100 games over the next four seasons for the Dodgers. Stults started 24 during that same span before the teams parted ways.

Don’t forget, the game will not be on Prime Ticket tonight but you can still watch it on local cable.

Here are tonight’s full lineups:

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