While Don Mattingly believes Matt Kemp‘s shoulder may be a mental hurdle he’ll have to get past, he and the Dodgers staff are not concerned about it affecting Kemp physically, as the injury hasn’t cropped back up after off-season surgery and there have been no lingering side effects.
“He may be thinking about [the shoulder], but it doesn’t seem like it any more,” manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday’s game against the Giants. “I think when we assessed Spring Training, we felt like that was one of the hurdles that we crossed that was successful.”
The injury will likely temper Kemp’s power early in the season, but hopefully his shoulder responds better than Adrian Gonzalez‘s did after a similar injury during his time in Boston.
It’s a situation worth monitoring, but it certainly doesn’t seem worthy of panic.
Chad Billingsley had a successful rehab start in Rancho and is in line to start in the bigs on Wednesday.
Chad Billingsley allowed four runs in four innings in his minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night, but more importantly the Dodgers right-hander is healthy and his curve ball was unhindered by the contusion on his right index finger. Billingsley’s next start will likely by Wednesday in San Diego against the Padres.
“My curve was a lot sharper. In the last outing I was throwing 50-foot curve balls. Tonight they were more on top of the plate, I got a double play ball out of one. It was definitely worth it coming back here,” Billingsley said. “I’m ready for the next outing.”
Bills’ finger was fine and he was able to throw his curve.
“It went well. I accomplished everything I needed to to get ready for my next start,” Billingsley said on Friday at Dodger Stadium. “I’ve got no issues with the finger. I’m anxious to get back out there, compete and win some ballgames.”
It’s something to watch for during his start this week, for sure.
Lilly is expected to make at least one more rehab start before he’s ready to start in the Major Leagues, and then the Dodgers must find room for him. Manager Don Mattingly earlier said Lilly is not a likely candidate for the bullpen, where the Dodgers already have stashed starting pitchers Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.
Not shockingly, Lilly allowed a few dingers.
The odds are still good that Lilly will be dealt or released when he’s healthy enough to return, as the Dodgers already have three superior lefties in the pen and could get Scott Elbert back at some point around the middle of this season.
The Dodgers placed minor leaguers Juan Abreu, Juan Noriega, Matt Palmer, Mario Santiago, Steve Cilladi, Jan Vazquez, Pedro Guerrero, Casio Grider, Ozzie Martinez, Brian Cavazos-Galvez, Jeremy Moore, Pat Stover, and Joey Winker on the 7-day DL.