03/27/2013 2:32 AM ET
Ryu gets nod to start second game of season
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the second game of the season for the Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly confirmed Tuesday, with Chad Billingsley missing his first turn through the rotation because of his healing bruised index finger.
Billingsley will pitch in a Minor League game Friday in Arizona and will slide into the rotation at some point after Clayton Kershaw, Ryu, Josh Beckett and Zack Greinke pitch the first four games. Billingsley was able to throw curveballs during a bullpen session Monday, but he will be given an extra day to rebound.
Mattingly said he has had conversations with the three veteran starting pitchers not in the rotation -- Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang -- "so psychologically they know where it sits if nothing would change."
Lilly still needs to build arm strength to be a starter, while Capuano and Harang are being scouted by Pittsburgh, Seattle and Cleveland, although no deal is imminent.
The Dodgers might keep two of the three for bullpen work, although that would make it nearly impossible for non-roster reliever Kevin Gregg to make the club.
Mattingly also said that reliever Scott Elbert, who had a setback in his recovery from two elbow operations, went to Los Angeles for a platelet-rich plasma injection. He will resume tossing this week, but there's no timetable for his return.
Ethier exits early with 'little soreness' in hamstring
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier left Tuesday night's Cactus League game with what he called "a little soreness" in his right hamstring, but manager Don Mattingly said it was precautionary.
Ethier wasn't cautious in the one at-bat he had, racing for a triple on his drive off the center-field fence. Mattingly said Ethier was scheduled for two at-bats in the game but lifted him in the third inning after the lone at-bat.
"[Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone] warned me before the game and [Ethier] didn't say it after the hit, but I didn't want to see it after that. He'd had enough," Mattingly said. "It's been a long camp."
Ethier already was scheduled to miss Wednesday's getaway-day game and Mattingly said he expects him to be playable for the Freeway Series of exhibition matchups Thursday-Saturday against the Angels.
Harang, Capuano waiting to see where they fit
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano don't know where they stand with six days before the season opens, except to know they aren't in the Dodgers' starting rotation.
Harang literally didn't know where he was Tuesday night, when glare from stadium lights on a new pair of glasses left him dizzy on the mound in a start against Colorado. Between the second and third walk he issued to open the game he tossed aside the glasses, but he was still dizzy when Michael Cuddyer belted a grand slam.
"The batters were moving," said Harang. "I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. I got rid of them after the second batter, but everything was still moving. I've been pitching six years half-blind and haven't done too bad. I've debated Lasik [corrective surgery]. At night it's harder to see."
Harang regrouped once his vision cleared and he allowed only one more run in 5 1/3 innings. If any scouts missed the first four batters, perhaps he'll be dealt to help clear the Dodgers' glut of pitchers. Teams that have been scouting Dodgers pitchers include Pittsburgh, Seattle and Cleveland.
"It's in the back of your mind," he said of the roster jam. "You know something is going on. Young guys want to figure it out. I don't even try."
Capuano is right there with Harang, saying he doesn't know where he stands, although there are indications that the Dodgers would prefer to keep him as a second lefty in the bullpen. The downside to that for Capuano and Harang is that they might be free agents after the season (both have mutual options), and long relief is not an ideal springboard for a rich contract.
"The rotation is set but my role is still unclear," Capuano said. "At this point I'm still progressing as a starting pitcher. Physically I think I'm still capable of it. I still feel I can go out and compete as a Major League starter. I've got a lot in the tank. A lot of stuff should be clearer over the next few days."
Ted Lilly is the third Dodgers starter without a role, but bad luck with health and weather this spring left him behind in innings. He will pick up for Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday.
The club has considered a disabled list rehab assignment for Lilly so he can build up innings, but Lilly said he is coming to Los Angeles after Wednesday's game.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.