Chad Billingsley turned in an impressive minor-league outing on Friday in which he was able to throw his curve sans any finger or elbow issues.
Manager Don Mattingly said Billingsley remains in his starting rotation, but it will just be a matter of when. The Dodgers don’t technically need a fifth starter until Apr. 13, their 11th game of the season. But Billingsley could be mixed into the rotation earlier, perhaps as early as Apr. 7.
“There are a couple of issues with Bills. Making sure he’s ready is one. The nail is one. But the biggest issue is any kind of small changes messing with that elbow,” Mattingly said. “That’s our biggest concern with him, making sure we’re not putting him in a bad spot.”
The nail was never a serious issue, but it’s encouraging to see the Dodgers not pushing him to tough it out and risk further injury.
He’s slated to start a minor-league game this Thursday and is tentatively scheduled to be back in the bigs on April 10.
Scott Elbert received plasma rich platelet injections in his ailing left elbow as he attempts to return from an elbow injury.
“Scott hasn’t thrown in a while. He was having some tenderness so he was shut down for quite a bit. His timetable has definitely been changing,” said manager Don Mattingly. “It was a little bit like Carl (Crawford), just starting that program up but he wasn’t quite ready yet. So we’ll wait, PRP, and start back up.”
There’s no timetable set for his return, and considering that Elbert has had an unhealthy off-season, plus the fact that the Dodgers are already three lefty relievers deep in the pen, there’s no reason to rush him until he’s 100%.
Andre Ethier left last Tuesday’s Spring Training game with soreness in his right hamstring.
“[Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone] warned me before the game and [Ethier] didn’t say it after the hit, but I didn’t want to see it after that. He’d had enough,” Mattingly said. “It’s been a long camp.”
He made the Opening Day roster and played in yesterday’s game, and he looked fine, but it’s notable anyway. Doesn’t seem like much, but hamstring injuries can be tricky (See: Matt Kemp, 2012).
Ted Lilly was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 28 as he continues his recovery from off-season labrum surgery on his pitching shoulder.
While I’m sure a part of that is true, the reality is that he was just atrocious looking in Spring Training.