Chad Billingsley sharp in latest start


LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley looked sharp against Milwaukee Brewers' Triple-A players Friday, pitching six innings while allowing a run and four hits and striking out six batters.

It's looking more and more likely Billingsley will be healthy to start the season, but the Dodgers won't need to use him until April 15 because they have two open dates early.

That could allow them to start him on the disabled list retroactive to his previous start and use his roster spot to stash their spare starting pitchers, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano in the bullpen until a trade can be worked out. The plan is to begin the season with Ted Lilly on the DL.

Billingsley has been dealing with a torn fingernail on his right index finger. He had two stints on the DL last season because of elbow inflammation.

"The biggest issue is any kind of small changes messing with that elbow. That's our biggest concern with him," Mattingly said.