SAN FRANCISCO -- Every afternoon, Dodgers left-hander Paco Rodriguez spends part of it lounging on clubhouse furniture with what looks like a massive ice pack wrapped around his left arm. The device is connected to a small computer.
According to the manufacturer, it provides "dynamic compression to limbs compromised by poor circulation." Other Dodgers players have used the the same device to help increase blood flow in various parts of their body.
Rodriguez, one of the key Dodgers relievers, hasn't pitched since the day before the Dodgers clinched the NL West, a span of eight days without entering a game. But he says he feels perfectly sound.
"It's just a matter of getting an opportunity," Rodriguez said.
The Dodgers, mindful of his heavy workload and the fact he is finishing his second full season in professional baseball, have tried to limit his use. He was told he was off limits for the Dodgers' Sept. 8 and 9 games. Since then, his role simply hasn't come up much.
Rodriguez has warmed up in the bullpen without getting into a game.
"We really do feel like we need to get him into a game," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "But we don't want to just put him in a game. We want to make sure it's the right situation."
* Mattingly said it's unlikely Andre Ethier, who has an injured left ankle, will play in a game before the end of the regular season Sunday, but that the team will try to set up a simulated game to get him at-bats and that it's possible Ethier could still make the first-round playoff roster.
Here are lineups for Thursday's game:
1. Yasiel Puig RF
2. Carl Crawford LF
3. Hanley Ramirez SS
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5. Matt Kemp CF
6. Juan Uribe 3B
7. Mark Ellis 2B
8. Tim Federowicz C
9. Edinson Volquez RHP
1. Angel Pagan CF
2. Gregor Blanco LF
3. Brandon Belt 1B
4. Buster Posey C
5. Hunter Pence RF
6. Tony Abreu 2B
7. Brandon Crawford SS
8. Nick Noonan 3B
9. Tim Lincecum RHP