Reliever barely pitched above Class A

Carlos Monasterios, whom the Dodgers wanted so badly in last December's Rule 5 draft they convinced the New York Mets to take him from Philadelphia with their higher pick so the Dodgers could then acquire him from the Mets for cash, has made the Opening Day roster.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre told reporters of the decision before Saturday's final spring-training game with the Angels at Dodger Stadium.

Eventually, someone might get around to actually telling Monasterios.

"They haven't told me anything," Monasterios said shortly after Torre's announcement, with shortstop Rafael Furcal translating.

At any rate, it appears the Dodgers will begin the season with a reliever in their bullpen who, for all practical purposes, has never played above Class A. With the Phillies, he did make one start and one relief appearance at Double-A Reading last season, and he was decent in doing so -- he gave up a total of three runs on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings.

The decision to keep Monasterios probably was made a long time ago. Dodgers officials are so high on Monasterios' ability and potential, they seem willing to give him a 25-man roster spot for the entire season. Rule 5 selections must be kept on the active roster all season or offered back to their former clubs, and there is little doubt the Phillies would want him back if given the chance.

Torre said he initially will have to be judicious in how he uses Monasterios.

"I will probably use him as I did with [reliever Ramon] Troncoso when he started with us [two years ago]," Torre said. "We didn't know exactly what to expect with the spring he had, and he gradually worked his way into a prominent role for us. I think that is what we have to do with Carlos."

The only decision left to be made is whether to go with 11 or 12 pitchers, and Torre said last week that the club was leaning toward 11.

If the Dodgers stay with 11, they probably will keep non-roster infielder Nick Green. If they go with 12, they likely will keep non-roster right-hander Russ Ortiz.

The Dodgers aren't required to submit a finalized roster to Major League Baseball until noon Sunday, and Torre said they likely would wait to do so. That means someone -- presumably either Green or Ortiz -- will fly to Pittsburgh with the team after Saturday's game, only to get cut.

Tony Jackson cover the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com