Ted Lilly's start tonight for the Dodgers could be considered a critical one, for reasons that have nothing to do with the team's place in the standings.
Lilly has been battling left elbow tenderness, as Ken Gurnick of MLB.com notes. He was given an extra day of rest before making his latest start, after having to skip several between-starts bullpen sessions. This has been going on while Lilly has allowed 17 earned runs over 14 2/3 innings in his past three outings.
Any further struggles could (or perhaps the word is "should") force Lilly to the disabled list, which would mean the callup of John Ely, the only minor-league starting pitcher on the 40-man roster, or someone else who isn't on the 40-man, such as Triple-A All-Star Dana Eveland. Jon Garland is out for the season, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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Andre Ethier is out of today's starting lineup because of the flu, but he did what I presume was MLB-prescribed promotion for his candidacy for the MLB All-Star final vote.