06/22/10 9:50 PM ET
Dodgers to give Haeger start on Thursday
Billingsley could return from DL to face Giants on Monday
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Haeger, who has spent most of the past five weeks (except for one game) on the disabled list with two foot injuries, got the nod over Triple-A Albuquerque's Claudio Vargas because Haeger threw six scoreless innings Sunday in a rehab start for Albuquerque. He will be pitching on three days' rest, which Torre discounted as a factor because Haeger throws knuckleballs that are not taxing on the arm.
Billingsley, out since June 12 because of a strained groin, is eligible to come off the list Sunday, but that is Clayton Kershaw's regular day to pitch and Torre wants Kershaw to pitch against the Yankees. The Dodgers open a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday night.
For Haeger, Thursday could be a final exam, as Torre has been eager to see if he can show a reversal of form from an 0-4 record and 8.53 ERA compiled primarily as the fifth starter. He wasn't even expecting to be in Anaheim on Tuesday, but got the call that he was to throw a bullpen session.
"We'll find out about him coming off a good outing," Torre said. "Confidence-wise and physically, we feel the foot is not an issue. He got the knuckleball over in his last start. We're hoping, so we'll see. Potentially he can get deep in the game if all his stuff works."
Billingsley threw a 45-pitch bullpen session and said he didn't feel the groin grab on any pitch. He tested it Sunday in the bullpen in Boston, going through his windup and whipping a towel instead of throwing a ball.
"I'm taking it normal, just getting ready for my next start," said Billingsley. "Everything seems to be fine."
Furcal returns, remains on bereavement list
ANAHEIM -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal returned to California on Tuesday after attending his father's funeral in the Dominican Republic but remained on the bereavement list.
"I talked to him last night and told him to go home today," manager Joe Torre said. "He sounded exhausted. He'll be here tomorrow and we'll wait to find out if he'll be a player or not."
Furcal's father died Sunday morning from injuries suffered three weeks ago when he was kicked in the chest by a horse on the family farm.
Jamey Carroll has been the starting shortstop in his absence.
Torre moves Ethier, Kemp in lineup shuffle
ANAHEIM -- Looking to shake his offense out of a slump, Dodgers manager Joe Torre moved Andre Ethier up to second in the batting order and Matt Kemp down to seventh for the Tuesday night opener of the Interleague series with the Angels.
Ethier is hitting .197 in 19 games since returning from the disabled list with a broken finger. Kemp is hitting .181 this month and .176 in nine games of Interleague Play.
"Ethier's just in a slump," Torre said. "He's fighting himself, which has been his history as long as I've been around him. He's hungry to get a hit every time, and sometimes beats himself up and gets in his own way, and I say that as a compliment. It's how hard he wants to produce.
"He and Matt have been fighting it. When you're losing and you're in the middle of a lineup, it's just extra pressure you have on you."
With Rafael Furcal still on the bereavement list, Torre batted Russell Martin leadoff again, with Manny Ramirez batting third as the designated hitter and Garret Anderson fifth in the order playing left field.
Torre said Ramirez, who went 5-for-12 against Boston over the weekend, apparently responded to a return to Fenway Park.
"I don't know if it was the people yelling at him," Torre said. "He was into his game there. It was like a keynote speaker, all jumpy before the speech, and then all of a sudden it all falls into place. He seemed anxious in Cincinnati, but looked like a different guy."
Cash money: Dodgers sign second-rounder
ANAHEIM -- The Dodgers signed second-round Draft pick Ralston Cash, a right-handed pitcher out of Lakeview Academy in Georgia, and seventh-round pick Ryan Christenson, a left-handed pitcher from South Mountain Community College in Arizona.
Cash had been committed to attend the University of Georgia. His cousin is pitcher Ethan Martin, the Dodgers' first-round pick in 2008.
The club has signed four of its top five and seven of its top 10 picks from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Still unsigned is first-round pick Zach Lee, a right-handed pitcher from McKinney (Texas) High School committed to play baseball and football at Louisiana State. Dodgers officials remain optimistic they can sign Lee. If they don't, they would receive the 29th overall pick in next year's Draft as compensation.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.