03/27/11 5:34 PM ET
Padilla throws 25 pitches off mound
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
"Good today," said Padilla. "We'll see tomorrow."
Padilla asked for one more pitch after coach Rick Honeycutt tried to cut him off at 25, and the right-hander hit 92 mph. He also threw sliders and his trademark slo-mo curveball. The first time Padilla threw off a mound, he was stiff the following day, but his arm quickly loosened up and he resumed throwing.
Because the surgery -- which freed an entrapped radial nerve -- is rare, the Dodgers never gave a timetable for Padilla's return, but were hoping for late April. He appears nearly a month ahead of that non-schedule, but he will start the season on the disabled list.
Padilla is being targeted to return as a reliever, so he shouldn't need many rehab games to return as a one- or two-inning pitcher. Manager Don Mattingly said Padilla will probably throw batting practice again before entering a Minor League game. He will continue his rehab in Arizona.
Billingsley happy with his changeup
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chad Billingsley went three innings in his final spring tuneup for the regular season Sunday, and was pleased with his changeup, which he refined as camp progressed.
"I'm very happy with how the changeup came along this spring," said Billingsley, who allowed two runs and finished the spring with a 3.75 ERA.
"It will help me get some quick innings when my other pitchers aren't there. It's a soft contact pitch when I don't have the curveball."
Billingsley said he's tinkered with different changeup grips since high school, but finally has come up with one comfortable enough to use regularly.
He demonstrated an unusual grip even for a changeup, in which he places his middle finger across the sweet spot, with no fingertips gripping a seam.
"As long as I get extension on it," he said.
Billingsley is scheduled to pitch the second game of the regular season Friday night against the Giants.
Blake Hawksworth, who takes over Jeff Weaver's job as the long reliever, pitched two scoreless innings after Billingsley and has a 2.61 spring ERA.
Camp over, but Mattingly still teaching
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers came out of Sunday's 6-1 loss to Cleveland with no new injuries, so as he broke his first Cactus League camp as manager, Don Mattingly saw the bright side.
"Nobody hurt," he said. "A good day."
The Dodgers went 13-19 during their Arizona swing. They left Camelback Ranch before, during and after the game in cars and planes, headed to California for the final three exhibition games leading up to Thursday's Opening Day against the Giants.
But Mattingly said training isn't over. He plans to hold a mini-session Monday on defensive shift alignments that he didn't get to in Arizona. Mattingly has stressed fundamentals in this camp, and he's not done.
He said his starting position players, who either were excused from Sunday's game or left early, will play longer in at least the next two California games.
"I'm happy with this camp," he said. "We got done a lot of what we wanted to accomplish."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.