Mattingly seeking stability in rotation

MILWAUKEE -- By trading for Roberto Hernandez and putting Josh Beckett on the disabled list, the Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping things ultimately can pay off in the bullpen.

Beckett's struggles in the rotation upon returning from the disabled list in July because of a hip issue have caused the Dodgers to take multiple preventative measures. First, Dan Haren and Beckett had to be separated in the rotation because pitching back-to-back had put a strain on the relievers.

The next move was to acquire Hernandez this week and send Beckett to the DL, possibly for the rest of the season.

If Hernandez hits his stride and Haren can duplicate the solid performance he had against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, the bullpen will be able to settle into their roles, with plenty of rest in between outings.

"Just look at how Danny's able to go into the eighth inning the other day," manager Don Mattingly said. "That's huge for us. I think it's another day that you have to try to get three innings out of your pen or something."

With Haren struggling in late July, Mattingly took the step of skipping his turn in the rotation and slotting him in after Clayton Kershaw and before Hyun-Jin Ryu.

"It wouldn't mattered if it was Hyun-Jin or Zach [Greinke] or Clayton, we had to get somebody in between them so we weren't two days in a row at the edge of your seat thinking you may have to get four innings out of your pen," Mattingly said.

The Dodgers are sixth best in the National League when it comes to innings pitched form the bullpen at 332 1/3, and Mattingly hopes the latest rotation movement can help improve that number. The Cincinnati Reds' bullpen has the lowest number of innings at 292.