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Chad Billingsley is no longer Dodgers' No. 2 starter

Don Mattingly says the rotation will be changed after the All-Star break, with Clayton Kershaw and Aaron Harang at the top, followed by Billingsley.

July 09, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times
  • Chad Billingsley is 4-9 with a 4.30 earned-run average this season.
Chad Billingsley is 4-9 with a 4.30 earned-run average this season. (Christian Petersen / Getty…)

PHOENIX — — Chad Billingsley was the Dodgers' No. 2 starter to begin the season. Manager Don Mattingly acknowledged he no longer views him as that.

The Dodgers will realign their rotation coming out of the All-Star break and Billingsley will be third in line behind opening-day starter Clayton Kershaw and Aaron Harang. The Dodgers will play host to the San Diego Padres in a three-game series when they resume play Friday.

"The real consistency is Chad's inconsistency," Mattingly said. "It seems like he gives up just enough to not be able to win right now. You just don't know what you're going to get."

Billingsley is 4-9 with a 4.30 earned-run average. He was the losing pitcher in each of his last five starts.

"To say that's your No. 2 starter, it's hard to really say that, honestly," Mattingly said.

Mattingly said the title of No. 2 starter now probably belongs to Chris Capuano. Capuano's 2.91 ERA is identical to Kershaw's. He has more wins than Kershaw, nine to six.

"Pretty much every time he gets the ball, you get a pretty good outing," Mattingly said.

But Capuano has pitched only one full season as a starter since he underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in 2008 and Mattingly wants to provide him with ample rest. So Capuano won't pitch in the Padres series.

Capuano will take his next turn in the rotation July 16, when the Dodgers open a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. He will be followed by rookie Nathan Eovaldi.

Mattingly said the rotation realignment was largely based on projected matchups down the road.

"We try to match these guys up with the teams that they've pitched better against," Mattingly said.

The Dodgers starters have a combined ERA of 3.43, second-best in the major leagues behind the Washington Nationals' 3.25.

Rubby De La Rosa is making progress

Rubby De La Rosa, who has been rehabilitating his surgically repaired elbow in Phoenix, visited the Dodgers' clubhouse.

De La Rosa, 23, remains hopeful he can pitch for the Dodgers this season.

"Maybe in September," he said.

De La Rosa broke into the major leagues last season armed with a 100-mph fastball. He underwent Tommy John surgery in August and hasn't pitched in an official game since.

He said he is scheduled to move from the Dodgers' spring-training complex in Arizona to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga next week. He expects to spend about 20 days with the Quakes.

He doesn't know whether he will be on a starter's or reliever's throwing program.

"I'll pitch wherever," he said.

De La Rosa was only a few days removed from throwing to live hitters for the first time this year. He said his fastball was around 93 mph.

Short hops

Andre Ethier said he remains on schedule to play for Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday and Thursday. The Quakes will be at home for both games. … Ted Lilly threw off a mound under the watch of trainer Sue Falsone and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Lilly has been sidelined since May 24 because of shoulder inflammation.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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