Ortiz designated, Miller called up

The Dodgers dramatically increased their cumulative tattoo count, and they hope the flexibility of their bullpen as well, by purchasing the contract of right-handed reliever Justin Miller from Triple-A Albuquerque before Thursday's game.

To clear a roster spot, veteran right-hander Ramon Ortiz was designated for assignment after going 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts and 14 relief appearances and becoming the most recent pitcher to fail to perform in the fifth spot of the starting rotation. Ortiz hadn't appeared in a game since his last start on May 19 against San Diego.

The move still leaves the Dodgers with just 11 pitchers, so Torre said another move likely will be made before Friday night, when rookie reliever Carlos Monasterios makes his second try at starting against Colorado. Torre said the next pitcher called up probably will be a swing man, and given that James McDonald had a strong performance on Wednesday against Reno, striking out six batters in five scoreless innings, he would seem to be a strong candidate.

The heavily tatted Miller, a Torrance High School alum who previously pitched in the majors for Toronto, Florida and San Francisco, will be used in a variety of roles.

"It was about the fact he is durable and can pitch every day," Torre said. "That is what I saw him do with the Giants (last year). He was a guy in spring training we knew we couldn't take (for the opening-day roster) even though we felt we wanted someone like that on our staff because of that durability."

Miller, 32, not to be confused with a younger Dodgers pitching prospect of the same name who presently is at low Single-A Great Lakes, had a 2.22 ERA in 18 appearances for Albuquerque in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.

Torre said Ortiz told him and general manager Ned Colletti that he wouldn't rule out accepting a minor league assignment if he were to clear waivers, but that he wanted to consult with his agent before making such a decision.

Tony Jackson cover the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com