03/14/11 9:37 PM ET
Lindsey heads down as Dodgers trim camp
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Ely takes bumpy outing in stride
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- John Ely, suddenly thrown into the fifth-starter mix because of injuries to Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla, was roughed up by the Texas Rangers and Josh Hamilton Monday as the Dodgers' losing streak reached eight games.Ely in four innings was charged with four runs, three on a blast by Hamilton that followed a double by Ian Kinsler past third baseman Justin Sellers and a grounder misplayed by both second baseman Eugenio Velez and first baseman Hector Gimenez (on Velez's low throw). Manager Don Mattingly, however, liked what he saw after the Hamilton homer. "He came back after that and threw strikes, and that's what I wanted to see," said Mattingly.
2010 Spring Training - Los Angeles Dodgers
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Ely didn't have many familiar names playing behind him, but even with the home run to Hamilton, the right-hander was pleased that he didn't walk any batters."Especially with how I ended last year," said Ely. "I was kind of real tentative throwing to the strike zone. Now, if they hit it, they hit it. I'm happy I'm not walking guys this spring." Ely came up from Double-A in late April and stepped into the starting rotation, winning three of his first four decisions. But he went 1-9 from there, unable to counter the adjustments hitters made. "I tried to do too much," he said. "I didn't realize how much the spotlight turns up at this level. It got in my head to make things happen. I've done a decent job rebounding this spring. I was fighting myself last spring. I got mentally out of my game." He said he hasn't thought about the opportunity to get back into the rotation. "It hasn't crossed my mind," he said. "I'm taking it just like the beginning of spring -- make pitches and get outs. I can't be concerned about those things. You don't want to see your teammates get hurt."
Dodgers' bullpen is shaping up
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Manager Don Mattingly didn't say the Dodgers' bullpen is set with a little more than two weeks before Opening Day, but it's close."Our bullpen shapes up OK," Mattingly said on Monday. "There's still competition going on." But with a fifth starter not needed until April 12, the Dodgers are likely to start the season with an 11-man pitching staff and carry an extra position player, especially with the unpredictable health of infielders Casey Blake and Rafael Furcal. The first four starters will be Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda. Six bullpen spots seem securely in the hands of Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen, Blake Hawksworth and non-roster former closer Mike MacDougal, who hasn't allowed an earned run in Cactus League play. With John Ely, non-roster pitcher Tim Redding and Jon Link considered starters, the top candidates for the seventh bullpen spot are Ramon Troncoso and Scott Elbert, although neither has had a great spring. Elbert loaded the bases on Monday with a two-out single by former Dodgers All-Star Adrian Beltre and a pair of walks, but Mattingly went to the mound with some words of advice and the inning ended on the next pitch with a flyout by David Murphy. "I just told him to pick a pitch and throw it," said Mattingly, who had Elbert in the Arizona Fall League and seems to be in the lefty's corner. "With everybody working with him, I just wanted him to keep it simple." The Dodgers would likely go to a 12th pitcher when Jon Garland comes off the disabled list, which could be in mid-April, and they would need another spot when Vicente Padilla comes off the DL around the end of April.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.