Chad Billingsley, shown pitching for the Dodgers back in February, is one… (Rob Tringali / Getty Images )
When spring training began, the Dodgers had eight starting pitchers. A rotation being a rather exclusive club, that was three too many.
Most figured at least one would be traded before it ended.
Yet spring training came to an end for the Dodgers on Saturday, and all eight remained. That's still three too many.
“We have a couple guys who aren't going to make the club probably right now due to health,” said Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti.
Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley are the two starters expected to begin the season on the disabled list.
Billingsley is coming off an elbow injury, has battled a nail issue and pitched only 7 2/3 innings in spring games. He threw six innings Friday against Milwaukee's triple-A team in Phoenix, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, with six strikeouts.
He returned to the team Saturday and said the nail held up.
Billingsley's stint on the DL could be retroactive to March 22 and would probably be temporary. The Dodgers have two off-days during the first two weeks of the season and would not need a fifth starter until April 13.
Lilly had off-season shoulder surgery, and his spring return was hampered by illness and a rainout. He's thrown only nine innings this spring, allowing 14 earned runs on 17 hits and eight walks.
Unlike the other two extra starters, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang, Lilly has shown a willingness to throw in relief. Capuano and Harang are still expected to join the bullpen.
Colletti is apparently fine with his eight starters.
“We're in a better spot than we've been for a while,” he said.
After the game the Dodgers announced left-hander Paco Rodriguez had made the team, which cost Kevin Gregg a spot.
Outfielder Alex Castellanos, right-hander Stephen Fife, utility player Elian Herrera and right-hander Josh Wall were optioned to minor league camp. Utilityman Alfredo Amezaga, right-hander Peter Moylan, catcher Matt Wallach and Gregg were reassigned to their minor league camp.
Mattingly confirmed that shortstop Justin Sellers had made the team, and he is expected to start Monday. The Dodgers still have 28 men on their roster and will have to make their DL moves Sunday by noon.