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08/10/09 9:44 PM ET
Billingsley scratched from next start
Tender hamstring to keep Dodgers ace out of Giants series
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Chad Billingsley felt enough discomfort during a bullpen session Monday afternoon to be scratched from his scheduled Wednesday start against the Giants by Dodgers manager Joe Torre. Torre said he's undecided on a replacement and pointed to Thursday's day off as a factor that would allow him to piece together a game with his current staff, knowing that everybody would get rest the following day. "We could get it done with the pitchers we have here," he said. He listed Jeff Weaver as a likely candidate to start, but said everything is dependent on the pitchers he needs to use Monday and Tuesday nights. Torre said the most likely scenario would be to start Weaver and follow with a variety of relievers, including James McDonald. In addition, general manager Ned Colletti said the club continues to look for pitching help from outside the organization, although that would require a waiver transaction and the pickings are slim. Billingsley, who came out of his start Friday night with a strained left hamstring, spun off a curveball on his 32nd pitch Monday and that was the end of his session and his next start. Torre indicated he did not think Billingsley's injury would require a stint on the disabled list and that he might be able to start Monday at home. However, Billingsley pitched Monday heavily taped, and he has not yet shown he can field his position or come out of the batter's box, which is how he injured his leg Friday night. "The last couple of pitches he really let it fly and felt it," he said. "For a hamstring, Stan [Conte, head athletic trainer] was satisfied at this point." Billingsley conceded he felt discomfort throughout the session, increasing with the intensity of his pitches from a "stretching" to a "grab," yet said he was "happy" with the session and considered it "a step forward" and not a "setback." He said he was preparing for his next start and did not think the disabled list would be necessary. Because of Thursday's day off, the Dodgers can skip their fifth starter, a role most recently filled by Eric Stults. If Billingsley did go on the disabled list, the Dodgers could recall left-handed pitcher Scott Elbert from Triple-A.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.