The starting rotation of the Los Angeles Dodgers will undergo a bit of a shuffle during the first week of the season, as Ted Lilly will begin the year on the disabled list. The southpaw has missed two spring starts with a stiff neck and even though he threw a bullpen session on Friday, Lilly is simply too far behind to be ready to pitch the first time through the rotation.
"We just don't feel like he's going to be ready," said manager Don Mattingly. "If it was an emergency or something and we had to push to get him ready for this start, he could take the ball. But that's not really what we want for his first start."
Chris Capuano will step into Lilly's third starter role and start on April 7 at Petco Park against the San Diego Padres, then will pitch five days later at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have an off day on April 9 which allows them to skip their fifth starter once.
Lilly will throw a simulated game on April 2, then pitch a rehab game on April 8 with the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. If all goes well, he will step into the rotation on April 14 at Dodger Stadium against the San Diego Padres. If Lilly is unable to go, Nathan Eovaldi will likely make that start.
The move allows the Dodgers to carry an extra relief pitcher for the first eight games of the season, with Josh Lindblom and Scott Rice vying for that final spot. Lindblom has options, and Rice would need to be added to the 40-man roster, but Rice also throws left-handed, potentially giving Mattingly a second southpaw in his bullpen should he so choose.
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