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Chad Billingsley to take his turn in Dodgers' rotation

Manager Joe Torre says the best way for the struggling right-hander to try to work out his problems is to 'get him back out there.'

September 15, 2009|Jim Peltz

There are no plans to have struggling pitcher Chad Billingsley skip a start to clear his head, and in fact the key is to get the right-hander back on the mound, Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said Monday.

Billingsley has lost four times in his last five starts, including Sunday's 7-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants. He said after that game he didn't "know how to explain" the slump.

"I'm sure he's frustrated," Torre said before the Dodgers played the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium.

"We need to get him back out there. We need to find a way for him to get something under his belt. Physically he's fine. Now it's just a matter of getting that good feeling back."

Wolf to start tonight

Elsewhere on the pitching staff, veteran left-hander Randy Wolf -- who missed his last start because of a hyperextended elbow -- is scheduled to start tonight against Pittsburgh.

The Dodgers also hope left-handed starter Clayton Kershaw -- who is recovering from a separated right shoulder -- can throw in a simulated game before the Dodgers' homestand ends Sunday.

"Then we'll go from there," Torre said, with bullpen practice and other throwing before the 21-year-old Kershaw would be ready to return to the rotation.

"You're probably talking a week or so," Torre said.

Also, reliever Guillermo Mota was reinstated after a stint on the 15-day disabled list because of an ingrown toenail.

Young's return

Delwyn Young, who started the season trying to secure a spot with the Dodgers, returned to Dodger Stadium as the relatively new second baseman for the Pirates.

"It's good to be home," said Young, a Southern California native who once was considered one of the Dodgers' top prospects but struggled to stand out in the team's crowded outfield.

Young batted .246 in 126 games last year and "worked hard," Torre said. "But he just couldn't get enough at-bats for a young player to get better, that's what it came down to."

Young was traded to Pittsburgh days after this season started, and lately has been trying to improve as the Pirates' second baseman since the team traded Freddy Sanchez to the Giants in late July.

But Young's hitting has suffered in the meantime. He was not in the lineup Monday after having gone five for 59 in his previous 18 games, dropping his average to .268 from .311.

Asked about his season, Young said, "It's been OK. It hasn't been the best as of late but we've still got some time left to kind of clean it up a little bit."

But Young, 27, said he's enjoyed "going to the field knowing that you're playing every day and there's a plan for you, that's obviously better. Opportunity takes you wherever it may, so mine was in Pittsburgh."

How did it feel being traded?

"It's the business part of it," he said, adding that it "took a week or two to really get used to wearing black."

"Quietly I'll always root for the Dodgers," Young said. "It's home."

Short hops

The Dodgers named left-hander Scott Elbert and shortstop Dee Gordon as their minor league pitcher and player of the year, respectively. . . . Jose Dominguez, a 19-year-old right-hander who pitched this summer for the Dodgers' team in the Dominican Summer League, was suspended after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-handing substance, Major League Baseball said.


Times staff writer Kevin Baxter contributed to this report.

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