Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley faces the Chicago Cubs in an… (Rob Tringali / Getty Images )
All the roster intrigue may have been eliminated after the Dodgers completed their exhibition season Saturday night, but it finally became official Sunday afternoon.
And there never was a spring trade of any of those extra starters, which doesn’t mean it won’t happen at some point.
But as expected shortstop Hanley Ramirez, right-hander Chad Billingsley, left-hander Ted Lilly and left-hander Scott Elbert were all placed on the disabled list Sunday, cutting the active roster down to 25 and leaving a spot to bring back shortstop Justin Sellers.
Billingsley’s stay on the DL figures to be brief. The Dodgers are expected to skip him for one turn in the rotation before activating him. He probably will pitch in a rehab assignment Thursday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
When Billingsley, who was coming off elbow surgery and then developed a nail issue on his pitching hand, is activated the Dodgers probably will send left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez to the minors.
The 25-man roster includes having Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang, two members of last year’s rotation, in the bullpen. That’s where Lilly was also hoping to go, but a numbers game, his return from shoulder surgery, illness and poor results left him without being built up and headed to the DL. Though it could be argued how much he had to be built up to become a reliever.
Here is the final 25-man roster to open the 2013 season. No changes will be made for at least one game.
Projected starting lineup:
Left field Carl Crawford, second base Mark Ellis, center field Matt Kemp, first base Adrian Gonzalez, right field Andre Ethier, third base Luis Cruz, catcher A.J. Ellis, shortstop Sellers.
Infielder/outfielders Jerry Hairston Jr. and Skip Schumaker, infielder Juan Uribe, infielder Nick Punto, catcher Tim Federowicz.
Left-hander Clayton Kershaw, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, right-hander Josh Beckett, right-hander Zack Greinke (Billingsley expected after first week).
Right-hander Brandon League, right-hander Kenley Jansen, right-hander Ronald Belisario, left-hander J.P. Howell, right-hander Matt Guerrier, left-hander Capuano, right-hander Harang, Rodriguez.
It’s not an ideal bench, the Dodgers having no true outfielder in reserve. Sellers making the team and pushing Cruz back to third means Hairston becomes the primary backup in the outfield.
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