Dodgers Report: Ted Lilly


For once this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers' injury prayers were answered.

It hasn't happened often this season for a Dodgers team that has seemingly placed every player on its roster on the disabled list at one point or another, but for once a player was removed from the game after getting hurt and it looks as if it won't cost him a 15-day trip to the DL.

Yasiel Puig left Wednesday night's game against the Colorado Rockies in the sixth inning after colliding with the right-field wall at Coors Field in the fifth inning. Puig bruised his left hip as he hit the fence after catching a line drive by Nolan Arenado.

Precautionary X-rays were negative on Puig, the Dodgers announced, and he's listed as day-to-day.

Despite being entrenched in a one-run game in the eighth inning when the results were revealed, there was a collective sigh of relief from everyone in the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field.

The Dodgers went on to beat the Rockies 10-8 on Wednesday to claim their fourth straight win and 10th victory in their past 11 games. The Dodgers passed the San Diego Padres in the NL West standings, are tied for second with the Rockies and are within just two games of the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.

It was an offensive showcase for the Dodgers who had a season-high 17 hits, 10 runs and four home runs. It was also the first game since 2006 in which the Dodgers had 10 extra-base hits. Things were going so well that Juan Uribe had a tying two-run shot in the fourth inning and Matt Kemp hit his first home run since May 20 to put the game away in the ninth inning.

This is easily the best stretch the Dodgers have played all season. They could move into sole possession of second place with a win Thursday, and there is a chance they could take the division lead by the end of the week, which seemed impossible just 10 days ago when the Dodgers were 9½ games out of first place and 12 games under .500.

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Crawford to begin rehab assignment Sunday

June, 28, 2013
6/28/13
5:40
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehabilitation assignment Sunday and could return from the 15-day disabled list as early as Thursday.

The Dodgers are zeroing in on full strength after three months of relentless injuries.

Matt Kemp came off the DL on Tuesday and Hanley Ramirez was activated June 4, the day after the Dodgers recalled Yasiel Puig.

Ted Lilly is scheduled to pitch in the same game for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called Crawford and Lilly the team's "last remnants" of an injury-riddled season. The Dodgers have used the disabled list a league-high 20 times on 15 different players this season.

When Crawford returns, the Dodgers will have four outfielders for three spots. The probable odd man out is Andre Ethier, who is batting .256 with five home runs in 75 games and was moved to left field to accommodate Puig, who is batting .427 with a .708 slugging percentage in 23 games.

There has been speculation the Dodgers will look to trade Ethier, who is in the first year of a five-year, $85 million contract.

Crawford has been on the DL since June 2 because of a strained left hamstring. He was batting .301 with nine stolen bases and, even after missing nearly a month, still leads the Dodgers with 32 runs scored. He is scheduled to play two games at designated hitter and two games in the outfield in Rancho Cucamonga.
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Jacksonville University right-handed pitcher Chris Anderson with the No. 18 overall selection in Thursday's first-year player draft.

Here is what ESPN.com draft analyst Christopher Crawford had to say about Anderson, who is 6 feet 4, 215 pounds and reportedly can throw as hard as 97 mph:
At one point Chris Anderson looked like a top ten pick, but the results waned a bit towards the end of the year. The Dodgers love big, strong right-handed pitchers, and that's exactly what Anderson provides them. He'll definitely enjoy the friendly confines of Dodger Stadium, but the command will have to get better if he's going to be in Dodger blue by 2015

With their second pick, No. 56 overall, the Dodgers took left-handed pitcher Tom Windle from Minnesota. Here is what MLB.com had to say about Windle:
There are pitchers with arm strength who generate velocity because of arm speed. Then there are those who don't have an overly quick arm, but just use strength to power through. Windle fits into the latter category. The Minnesota lefty threw very well in the Cape and was up to 93-94 mph there to go along with a slider and a changeup. He was a Cape League All-Star as a result of his performance. That continued into his junior year, where he continued to throw strikes and show he has an idea of what he's doing on the mound. Those kinds of college lefties, even those in cold-climate areas, tend to do well when the Draft rolls around.

* In major-league news, manager Don Mattingly said left fielder Carl Crawford could be on the disabled list well beyond the 15-day window. Crawford underwent an MRI exam that showed a considerably strained left hamstring. Crawford went on the DL Sunday.

Crawford is second on the Dodgers with a .301 batting average and has scored a team-high 32 runs.

* Ted Lilly is dealing with a strained neck and Mattingly said it's unlikely he'll make Sunday's start. Mattingly said he doesn't know who would replace Lilly if he can't pitch.

Here are lineups for Thursday night's game against the Atlanta Braves:

Atlanta
1. Andrelton Simmons SS
2. Jason Heyward RF
3. Justin Upton LF
4. Freddie Freeman 1B
5. Brian McCann C
6. Dan Uggla 2B
7. Ramiro Pena 3B
8. B.J. Upton CF
9. Tim Hudson RHP

Dodgers
1. Yasiel Puig RF
2. Nick Punto SS
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Scott Van Slyke LF
5. Andre Ethier CF
6. Tim Federowicz C
7. Skip Schumaker 2B
8. Luis Cruz 3B
9. Zack Greinke RHP

Can Puig help the Dodgers break into a jog?

May, 30, 2013
5/30/13
10:50
PM PT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Asked about how people should read into the fact that uber-prospect Yasiel Puig played center field Thursday for one of the few times this season in a Double-A game right when the Los Angeles Dodgers need a center fielder, Don Mattingly smiled.

"Whatever you want," Mattingly said. "It's fun doing that anyway. You can imagine what he might be doing tonight or whatever."

It appears to be down to Puig or former big leaguer Tony Gwynn Jr., who has been playing at Triple-A Albuquerque, for the race to take Matt Kemp's spot while he's on the 15-day disabled list. According to a source, the Dodgers are not considering the other hot outfield prospect at Double-A Chattanooga, Joc Pederson.

So, perhaps the Dodgers are about to get the jolt of energy a young, vibrant player can provide. Puig batted .517 in spring training and is hitting .322 at Chattanooga.

But even if the team opts for the more conservative choice, Gwynn -- a strong fielder with limited offensive impact -- they're set up for a promising weekend in Colorado. Their three best starters, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu are all going against a Colorado team that has cooled off quite a bit since a hot start.

The Dodgers are 17-10 in games started by their top three and 5-20 in games started by anyone else, including Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels with Ted Lilly on the mound.

And, yeah, the Dodgers have been feeling more energy since Mattingly's stern words in Milwaukee about a week ago.

Add it all up and ... who knows, maybe a step or two of momentum, finally? Have you heard that one before this season?

"You say that daily," Mattingly said. "It's a good place to start. Today was a good place, yesterday was a good place, we'd won two in a row. ... Every day is a chance for us to sustain it, get going and put wins together."

Every day is a chance, and these are as good as any others. Let enough of them pass, though, and they add up to a wasted season.

Quick take: Angels 3, Dodgers 2

May, 30, 2013
5/30/13
9:53
PM PT


ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Every time it looks as if the Los Angeles Dodgers are getting unstuck, they hit another snag.

They managed to cool off the Los Angeles Angels by snapping their eight-game winning streak with a couple of energetic wins at Dodger Stadium earlier this week. Then, they got on the freeway and hit heavy traffic.

They lost two tough, one-run games at Angel Stadium -- Thursday's by a 3-2 score -- and they're right back where they started, eight games under .500 and mired in last place in the NL West.

Had the Dodgers managed to win one of these two games in Anaheim, they would have won their first season series against the Angels since 2006. Because of realignment, the Dodgers and Angels don't play again this season.

The Dodgers got a second straight nice outing from veteran Ted Lilly, who got into the sixth inning and gave up three runs and five hits. It was a bit of bad luck that helped the Angels push the go-ahead run across. Chris Nelson hit a slow roller that reliever Ronald Belisario deflected to second baseman Mark Ellis, who had no play at first. Howie Kendrick scored from third on the infield hit to give the Angels a 3-2 lead.

Against lefty Jason Vargas, who had been on a roll, and without Matt Kemp, the Dodgers fielded a hodge-podge lineup. Ramon Hernandez, batting .111 coming in, was the designated hitter. Scott Van Slyke, Jerry Hairston Jr. and newly arrived catcher Tim Federowicz all played.

The Dodgers scraped across a couple of runs early, with Carl Crawford scoring after leading off the game with a triple and Hernandez hitting his second home run with the Dodgers. After that, it was quiet. Vargas won his sixth straight decision.

It's not about feelings now, it's about wins

May, 25, 2013
5/25/13
8:47
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- You could feel the frustration of the past 12 months bubbling up for Matt Kemp in the seventh inning Saturday night.

[+] EnlargeKemp_Matt
Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY SportsIt's not difficult to realize Matt Kemp is far from the player he was a year ago.

A year ago, he was batting .359 with a 1.173 OPS and just getting ready to come off the disabled list from the first of what would turn out to be a debilitating series of injuries. Saturday, he watched an opposing manager walk Adrian Gonzalez to get to him, heard the loudest boos yet at Dodger Stadium and got taken out on a double switch in a one-run game.

Eventually, the game adjusts to where you are, and right now everybody in the game knows Kemp's not the same player he was in May 2012.

So, if you happened to see Kemp yelling a few words in the direction of manager Don Mattingly after he was taken out in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, see it as that -- a momentary lapse driven by mounting frustration. Both the player and the manager swear it's nothing more.

"I know Matt's frustrated with things, but there's nothing personal there," Mattingly said. "I love Matt. It was a baseball move. I try to make baseball moves all the time that give us the best chance to win."

A year ago, they were chanting, "MVP! MVP!" routinely when Kemp walked up to the plate. After he struck out on a changeup in the dirt in the sixth inning Saturday, the big crowd -- 49,368 strong -- let him have it. It was probably the loudest the boos have been yet for Kemp, who is batting .261 with a .657 OPS.

"It is what it is. That's how they feel … Booing me, you know?," Kemp said. "Let them do what they want to do."

Mattingly doesn't really have a lot of time to think about feelings right now. This organization, which has spent enough to build palaces in the past 12 months, doesn't, either. The Dodgers have a chance to win their second straight series with a win on Sunday, with Clayton Kershaw pitching, and that's really where their focus is.

Anything else is just a spinoff drama.

Mattingly said he would sit down to discuss the issue with Kemp. He's already supposed to have a scheduled chat with Andre Ethier, whom he benched Wednesday for a general lack of competitive grit. The Dodgers might soon want to hire a therapist to help them work through their relationship issues.

Either that, or win another series or two.

Quick take: Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3

May, 25, 2013
5/25/13
7:46
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly is doing it his way now, no matter who doesn't like it.

Mattingly appeared to take on one of his most-celebrated players Saturday night. He pulled Matt Kemp in a double switch in the seventh inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, prompting what appeared to be an angry reaction by Kemp in the Dodgers' dugout.

Kemp threw his glove and stormed into the tunnel, though he did return to cheer on his teammates later in the game.

On Wednesday in Milwaukee, Mattingly benched the other longtime Dodger position player, Andre Ethier, because he wanted to field his most competitive lineup.

The Dodgers have taken a lot of heat for being an expensive mess so far this season, but it's not the new acquisitions that have cost them most dearly. Coming into Saturday, Ethier ranked No. 125 and Kemp ranked No. 144 in the majors in slugging percentage.

The Mattingly-Kemp drama, combined with shaky relief work by Ronald Belisario, drowned out a strong outing from veteran left-hander Ted Lilly, who kept the hard-hitting Cardinals off balance into the sixth inning.

The Dodgers, desperate for some momentum, could take their second consecutive series (with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound) in Sunday's finale.

 

Only the players can save Don Mattingly's job

May, 20, 2013
5/20/13
12:24
PM PT

For a moment, let’s forget about how Don Mattingly’s players feel about him and ponder how he feels about them.

When the Dodgers left San Francisco early this month, having been swept in a bitter, hard fought series, Mattingly told reporters he felt better about his team walking out than he did walking in.

Two weeks later, here are some of the comments coming from Mattingly after another painful sweep in Atlanta, his bullpen blowing a lead in every game.

“Too many walks. Too many free runners. And we have to catch the baseball, that’s all there is to it,” Mattingly told reporters.

Mattingly also said he had an “issue” with a ball that dropped between Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp and said of Luis Cruz’s dropped line drive, “guys in the big leagues make that play all day long.”

When Dee Gordon got thrown out at third base the next night, Mattingly told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick: “Matt Kemp's at the plate. Come on, Dee, we've been there. There's no real upside to stealing the base.”

You get the sense he's beginning to wonder if he's got the right people in his corner in one of the toughest fights of his professional life.

The Dodgers' players say it all the time: They like playing for Mattingly. If they are lying, they’d better be careful what they wish for. Teams that fire managers tend to bring in guys nothing like their predecessor. Otherwise, why bother? Mattingly’s a laid-back, communicative guy who can relate to everyday players, because he was one. He rarely criticizes players publicly. Whoever the opposite of that is, the Dodgers could get him.

It would be hard to argue that the Dodgers are doing a swell job of saving Mattingly’s job so far. Well-connected national baseball writers are speculating almost daily now that his job appears to be under imminent threat. The latest, from Foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, speculates that Mattingly could get fired as soon as Thursday, an off-day before the Dodgers open a seven-game stretch in Southern California.

I must admit, I had exactly the same thought -- that it could be close -- after watching those games in Atlanta and reading the comments.

But there appears to be some debate internally about when it becomes fair to evaluate this team. Some have said that Zack Greinke’s return was a reasonable moment and, so far, the Dodgers are 1-3 since then -- Greinke getting the only win they’ve had.

When I wrote that recently, a club executive objected, pointing out that Hanley Ramirez, Mark Ellis, Ted Lilly, Josh Beckett and Scott Elbert were still on the DL (Ellis has since returned), saying, “they don’t matter?”

The New York Times website has a cool feature called “Money on the Bench,” in which they tabulate, second by second, how much a team is paying players on the DL. The Dodgers’ number, as of 11:36 Monday morning, was $164,000. The New York Yankees’ was $259,000.

The Yankees are 27-16 in first place. The Dodgers are 17-25 in last place.

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Welcome back, Clayton ... good luck

May, 3, 2013
5/03/13
10:58
PM PT


Not much changed while Clayton Kershaw was away. The Los Angeles Dodgers still can't come up with a clutch hit, and injuries keep coming at them in bunches.

The Dodgers left 13 runners on base before San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey ended a tight pitcher's duel with a home run off Ronald Belisario in the ninth inning to send the Dodgers off with a 2-1 loss at AT&T Park on Friday night.

Kershaw pitched seven strong innings, giving up only three hits, but he couldn't pick up his fourth win despite a miniscule 1.66 ERA. The Dodgers simply don't score when he's pitching, but, then again, they don't score much when anyone's pitching. Kershaw had to pitch an eight-inning shutout in his previous start on Sunday to get a win. He was on the bereavement list from Monday until Friday following the death of his father.

There was more bad news for the Dodgers on Friday. Hanley Ramirez left the game in the sixth inning with what appeared to be a serious injury to his left hamstring. Ramirez was trying to run from first base to third on A.J. Ellis' single. He was thrown out sliding and then got up limping and clutching his left hamstring before he was helped off the field.

Ramirez had spent the first month of the season on the disabled list and had come off it just four days earlier. The last time he played in San Francisco, he tore a thumb ligament diving for a ball in the final game of the World Baseball Classic.

The Dodgers later confirmed it was a hamstring injury for Ramirez, but his status remains day-to-day.

Before the game even started, the Dodgers had to scratch Adrian Gonzalez, the team's leading hitter, because of a sore neck. They also put veteran left-hander Ted Lilly on the DL for the second time this season. The Dodgers have used the DL 10 times in the first five weeks.

"Troubles, troubles and more troubles for the Dodgers," Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully said on the television broadcast.

The Dodgers came up with 11 hits and seven walks and somehow managed to squeeze only one run out of that.

The tenuousness of such low-scoring games, from a pitcher's perspective, came up in the fifth inning. Brandon Belt belted a 92 mph Kershaw fastball to right field. It looked like a surefire extra-base hit and, with a runner on first, perhaps a two-run home run to give the Giants a lead. But Andre Ethier tracked it down about 10 feet short of the 421-foot sign in right center.

That tenuousness came up again when Posey tied the score in the sixth by pounding a pitch to the same area for a double to drive in Marco Scutaro for the tying run. The Giants looked as if they would go ahead, but Matt Kemp made a nearly perfect, one-hop throw from center field to throw out Posey at home.

Mattingly unhappy Lilly stayed mum on back pain

April, 30, 2013
4/30/13
5:52
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- When Ted Lilly started feeling some tightness in his back the day after his April 24 start in New York, he kept it to himself. The first time he mentioned it to Los ANgeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly or the team's training staff was when the pain came back during Monday night's start.

That didn't sit well with Mattingly the next day.

Lilly lasted just three innings in the Dodgers' 12-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies. His short outing left the Dodgers' bullpen depleted enough that the team had to use utility man Skip Schumaker to pitch the ninth inning, then call up long reliever Javy Guerra from Triple-A Albuquerque the next day.

"If we would have known about that, we could have made plans to have a guy here who was extended and not had to take a chance of having it, in a sense, affect tonight's game," Mattingly said. "Let us make some plans and give us a chance to win. That part's a little frustrating."

Lilly, 37, was examined Tuesday and could still be headed for the 15-day disabled list. Even if he's not, the Dodgers might go with rookie Matt Magill to pitch Saturday's game in San Francisco. To make room on the roster for Guerra, the Dodgers optioned Josh Wall to Albuquerque. Wall gave up seven earned runs in two innings after Lilly left the game, his ERA ballooning to 18.00.

Here are lineups for Tuesday's game:

Colorado
1. Dexter Fowler CF
2. Josh Rutledge 2B
3. Carlos Gonzalez LF
4. Michael Cuddyer RF
5. Jordan Pacheco 1B
6. Nolan Arenado 3B
7. Yorvit Torrealba C
8. Jonathan Herrera SS
9. Jorge De La Rosa LHP

Dodgers
1. Jerry Hairston Jr. LF
2. Nick Punto 2B
3. Matt Kemp CF
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5. Hanley Ramirez SS
6. Andre Ethier RF
7. A.J. Ellis C
8. Juan Uribe 3B
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu LHP

Ted Lilly's next start jeopardized by back tightness

April, 29, 2013
4/29/13
11:07
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Ted Lilly made his major-league debut with the Montreal Expos, which is another way of saying he's been at this a while.

The Dodgers are accustomed to carefully monitoring the 37-year-old pitcher's health on a start-by-start basis, so in a way this is nothing new. Lilly had felt a bit of tightness in his back after his previous start in New York last week and it returned in the first inning of Monday night's 12-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies, in which Lilly got hit around for three innings.

He'll be examined Tuesday and is questionable for his start this weekend in San Francisco. If he can't go, he'll likely be replaced in the Dodgers' rotation by rookie Matt Magill.

Lilly admitted he's concerned about making his next start.

"Well, I mean I think I have a few things to be concerned about, that being one of them and then just ineffectiveness, too," Lilly said. "A lot of guys in the clubhouse here aren't feeling as good as they'd like to, but you still expect to get the results you're looking for."

Lilly threw 71 pitches in three innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, including a couple of first-inning home runs. The Dodgers have used nine starting pitchers in the season's first month.

"We've got to find out if Teddy's healthy tomorrow and kind of make decisions from there," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Quick take: Rockies 12, Dodgers 2

April, 29, 2013
4/29/13
10:35
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Maybe the Colorado Rockies are due to come tumbling painfully back to earth. And maybe the Los Angeles Dodgers aren't doomed to stay in this one-step-forward, one-step-back waltz with mediocrity all season.

But for one game in late April, the gap between the division's first place team and its fourth place team wasn't hard to spot.

The Dodgers had their worst pitching performance since last June in a 12-2 loss to the Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Monday night. Colorado stacked up 19 hits, or 13 more than the Dodgers could manage.

The snapshot of the Dodgers' night was utility man Skip Schumaker pitching the ninth inning (a scoreless one). He became the first Dodgers position player to pitch in a game since Mark Loretta in July 2009.

A tiny throng of fans left in the stadium chanted, "Let's go Skip!"

Ted Lilly, making his second start since coming off the disabled list, needed 71 pitches to get through three innings ... and he barely made it that far. The first four batters he faced had sharp hits, two of them home runs. Things got even messier, believe it or not, in the third, when Lilly walked in a run among other forgettable deeds.

Lilly, 37, had pitched well for five innings in the first start upon his return, last week in New York. He entered the season awkwardly, put on the 15-day disabled list against his wishes. Now, the Dodgers could be tempted to use rookie Matt Magill in Lilly's place next rotation turn. Magill pitched into the seventh inning in his major league debut Saturday.

Reliever Josh Wall couldn't live up to the standard that Lilly had set earlier. The Rockies scored seven times off Wall in two innings. Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood was 3-for-3 with two RBIs on three sharp singles in his first three plate appearances.

A Dodgers trainer visited both pitchers at some point in their outings, but neither pitcher left the mound due to injury.

As bad as things were, they could have been worse. Matt Kemp had a 92 mph fastball headed straight for his head in the fourth inning. He ducked out of the way and it appeared to carom off his shoulder and glance off his nose.

The few thousand fans that remained in the seventh inning were rewarded with a couple of little treats: Jerry Hairston Jr. homered to snap the shutout and Hanley Ramirez made his return to the field, taking a called third strike. Ramirez had thumb surgery March 22 and was activated from the DL on Monday afternoon.

Quick take: Mets 7, Dodgers 3 (10)

April, 24, 2013
4/24/13
8:09
PM PT
The Dodgers looked as if they were figuring out creative ways to win, but a late-game meltdown cost them their second three-game winning streak of the season Wednesday night at Citi Field.

Matt Kemp hit his first home run of 2013 -- an opposite-field wall scraper -- and Mark Ellis and Jerry Hairston Jr. made clutch defensive plays late in the game, but the New York Mets' David Wright singled off Dodgers closer Brandon League with two outs to drive in the tying run in the ninth.

In the 10th, Jordany Valdespin needed only a fly ball (against a two-man outfield), but he instead ended the game with a grand slam off Josh Wall and the Mets escaped with a 7-3 win.

Pitcher Clayton Kershaw, one of the team's best bunters, had pinch-hit in the 10th inning and successfully advanced catcher A.J. Ellis, but Carl Crawford struck out and Skip Schumaker ended the inning with a groundout.

Ted Lilly, making his first start since last May, pitched five strong innings and the Dodgers had good enough at-bats against Mets phenom Matt Harvey to drive the hard-throwing right-hander out of the game after six innings. Harvey was bidding to become the 14th pitcher in the live-ball era to go at least seven innings and give up four or fewer hits in five straight starts.

Kemp's home run narrowly cleared the right-field wall and was originally ruled a triple after a security guard interfered with the ball just above the fence line and it bounced back into play. Umpires looked at the replay and awarded Kemp his first home run after beginning the season with 81 homerless plate appearances.

Dodgers starting pitching thins by the day

April, 16, 2013
4/16/13
10:55
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Ted Lilly pitched five innings Tuesday night and gave up three runs to the Lake Elsinore Storm.

Aaron Harang pitched five innings Tuesday night and gave up three runs to the Detroit Tigers.

Something’s wrong with this picture.

Remember when the Los Angeles Dodgers had so many starting pitchers, they couldn’t find enough places to keep them? In a matter of nine days, that embarrassment of riches is now just barely enough.

Without enough places to stash everybody, the Dodgers saw their pitching depth evaporate, and there wasn't much they could do about it. They traded Harang -- who had no role -- for veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez, who has scarcely played. They shuffled Chris Capuano off to the bullpen, where he got scant work and got rusty. Zack Greinke broke his left collarbone in a brawl.

Capuano got hit around Tuesday night in a 9-2 loss to the San Diego Padres, then exited the game in the third inning with a strained left calf.

Now, it looks like Lilly -- who hemmed and hawed about even showing up for his last minor-league rehab game -- will get his wish. He’ll be a member of the Dodgers' rotation once again, most likely. Capuano is getting an MRI Wednesday and, if he's healthy, the Dodgers will have to decide who gives them a better option moving forward. Luckily for them, off days mean they won't need a fifth starter until April 24.

So the Dodgers, who spent more than $200 million acquiring starting pitchers last winter, will be going with a 37-year old who pitched in eight games last year before blowing out his shoulder and who has struggled since March.

They’re one injury away from another rotation that includes Stephen Fife.

Not exactly an ideal set of circumstances, but there are plenty of teams out there that would gladly trade their pitching staffs for the Dodgers’, so this is no time for self-pity.

"Obviously, as a manager, your job is to worry about everything, but at least we're in a position that we have a guy, Ted, who's working his way back," manager Don Mattingly said. "So, we're kind of fortunate that we had an excess of starters."

Notice the tense: Had.

Who takes Greinke's place?

April, 12, 2013
4/12/13
8:37
AM PT
If you're going to lose one of your best players for a few months, it may as well be a starting pitcher.

Not that replacing injured Cy Young winner Zack Greinke in the Dodgers' rotation is going to a good thing, but it would be much harder to replace a position player of Greinke's caliber. Assuming he is out about three months, which seems fairly standard for a broken collarbone, he would have participated in only about 16 of the Dodgers' games in that span. The team also could take advantage of off-days and reduce that number to as few as 12 or 13.

Plus, the Dodgers have two starting pitchers tucked away for just such an occasion. Ted Lilly just threw 90 pitches in a rehab game for Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday and could easily slide into Greinke's next scheduled start Tuesday at home against the Padres.

Or, the Dodgers could move Chris Capuano out of the bullpen to make that start, but that seems less appealing. For one thing, Capuano has made two scoreless relief appearances already, so why create a hole in one area of your team to patch one in another? With Lilly's repaired left shoulder, how often would he even be available to pitch in relief?

Granted, a rotation that includes a 37-year-old soft-tossing left-hander isn't as intimidating as one that features two former Cy Young winners with dominant stuff. But there's no reason the Dodgers can't survive Greinke's absence and be in good shape for a playoff push when he comes back.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Dan Haren
WINS ERA SO IP
3 2.16 20 25
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Gordon .367
HRA. Gonzalez 5
RBIA. Gonzalez 17
RA. Gonzalez 14
OPSA. Gonzalez .969
ERAH. Ryu 1.93
SOZ. Greinke 29