Now, it seems as if the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation is on the verge of total collapse.

Carlos Monasterios, the rookie right-hander who was battling to find himself a spot as the team’s fifth starter, has joined fellow starters Chad Billingsley and Charlie Haeger on the disabled list, the Dodgers announced on Friday afternoon.

Monasterios (3-2, 3.88 ERA) was sent to the DL with what was described as “a pre-existing blood blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand and a split nail on the index finger that occurred Friday night.”

Although one would assume that the team is getting “extra creative” with their phantom injuries and unorthodox roster shuffling, the Dodgers are now left with four starters: Hiroki Kuroda, Clayton Kershaw, John Ely, and Vicente Padilla.

Los Angeles could try to tough it out with a four-man rotation or start a middle-reliever to pick up the slack, but all signs are pointing to Claudio Vargas making a start for the Dodgers as soon as Wednesday against the Angels.

Vargas was signed by the Dodgers last week after being released by the Milwaukee Brewers and clearing waivers earlier this month.

Vargas, who is no stranger to a Dodger uniform, had a 7.32 ERA in 17 relief appearances before being cut by the Brewers. However, he had a productive start with Dodgers’ triple-A affiliate Albuquerque on Thursday, when he threw three solid innings and only allowed one run, a solo homer, while striking out four and walking none.

In 2009 before being traded, he went 0-0 with a 1.64 ERA in eight relief appearances and 11 innings of work for the Dodgers.

Allowing Vargas to start on Wednesday would give John Ely an extra day of rest. Ely (3-4, 4.15 ERA) has struggled recently, seeing his earned run average increase more than one full run in his last two starts alone.

With all of the recent shuffling in the starting rotation, Dodgers’ general manager Ned Colletti is beginning to look around the league in an effort to obtain an additional starter.

“The conversations have picked up a little,” Colletti said. “It doesn’t seem that anything is really hot. There are six or seven weeks to go [until the trade deadline]. Teams holding on to pitchers, their value won’t go down unless they get hurt.”

As the July 31 deadline creeps ever so near, Dodger fans everywhere have made no secret of their top choices for an acquisition. The Dodger faithful have two players in mind, and two players only: Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee.

It still remains unclear whether Colletti will target the big market pitcher or focus on a starter with type-B status. He’s open-minded and hasn’t ruled out anyone, but Ned has stated that he hasn’t yet approached ownership to ask for more money.

Regardless, the Dodgers face a difficult challenge in producing quality starts until a deal, if any, is made.

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