ATLANTA -- Ricky Nolasco is scheduled to start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League division series against Atlanta -- for now.
Manager Don Mattingly said the Dodgers' rotation plans are subject to change depending on what happens in the first three games of the series, which will be started by Clayton Kershaw, followed by Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Nolasco could be used as a long reliever in one of the first three games if a starter is forced to make an early exit.
"We would have to be flexible with Ricky," Mattingly said.
Kershaw is a candidate to start Game 4 regardless of whether Nolasco pitches earlier in the series. If the Dodgers are down two games to one after three games, the Dodgers could start Kershaw on three days' rest.
"We haven't talked about that," Mattingly said.
Kershaw has never pitched on less than four days' rest. The Dodgers always have been careful with his arm. But Kershaw said he would be open to starting Game 4 if asked.
"If the opportunity presents itself, I'm definitely not opposed to it," Kershaw said. "Obviously, I haven't done it before, but I've got some ideas on how to get prepared for that."
AVAILABLE IN A PINCH
The Dodgers didn't release their 25-man division series roster Wednesday, but Andre Ethier sounded as if he expected to be on it.
Ethier, who can't play center field because of shin splints, said he is mentally preparing himself to pinch-hit.
"I'm prepared for whatever they ask me," Ethier said. "If it's pinch-hitting, I'm ready for that."
The Dodgers must submit their playoff roster by 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday.
Utility man Nick Punto said he was completely recovered from the ingrown toenail that sidelined him for the last four regular-season games.
PUIG IS SLUMPING
Yasiel Puig's .214 average in September is a sign that the rookie outfielder has to make adjustments to how he's being pitched, Mattingly said.
"I think Yasiel is a work in progress," Mattingly said. "He has a lot of talent, but still a work in progress."
Puig still hit six home runs in the final month of the regular season.
"His September, I don't think has really bothered us in any way," Mattingly said. "We've seen improvement from the standpoint of less baserunning mistakes, hitting the cutoff man a few more times, just the things that we've been working on and trying to continue to improve on."
Mattingly may move Puig from the leadoff spot into the middle of the order, in part to make up for the absence of injured outfielder Matt Kemp.
Kris Medlen, the Atlanta Braves' Game 1 starting pitcher, grew up in Southern California wanting to play for the Dodgers.
"I went to Dodgers and Angels games growing up, dreamed of being an infielder for the Dodgers," Medlen said. "It's a pretty cool feeling to play against them in the regular season.
"But I've had a couple of years in the big leagues to get over that love for the Dodgers."
Medlen was a pitcher and infielder at Cerritos Gahr High. He also played at El Camino College and Santa Ana College.
Medlen had a 1-6 record through his first 11 starts this season. He was 14-6 with a 2.92 earned-run average the rest of the season.
UGGLA IS OFF ROSTER
Second baseman Dan Uggla, a former All-Star, didn't make the Braves' roster for the division series, which was announced Wednesday.
Uggla batted .179 this season and hit only one of his 22 home runs after July 25. He has two years remaining on a five-year, $62 million contract.
Paul Maholm, who was the Braves' No. 4 starter for most of the season, and veteran left-hander Scott Downs, who was acquired in a trade with the Angels, were also left off the roster.
"I couldn't take the emotion out of it," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Yesterday might have been one of the hardest days I've ever had to experience as a major league manager."
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