3/31/2013 11:15 P.M. ET
However temporarily, Dodgers set 25-man roster
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers placed Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, while sending Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang to the bullpen in an awkward and temporary resolution to their glut of starting pitchers.
Also on the DL were shortstop Hanley Ramirez (thumb) and reliever Scott Elbert (elbow). Ramirez is out six more weeks after surgery for a torn ligament, Elbert is out indefinitely with a setback after two elbow operations.
The moves were made as the Dodgers submitted a required 25-man roster, which can be changed at any time, even before Monday's opener against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers also recalled infielder Justin Sellers, who was optioned to the Minor Leagues two weeks ago. But management, after initially replacing injured shortstop Hanley Ramirez with Luis Cruz, reversed its decision in recent days, giving the shortstop job to Sellers and moving Cruz back to third base.
Billingsley's 15 days were backdated to Mar. 22, so he can be activated Saturday and figures to become the club's fifth starter no later than April 13. He showed in six innings of a Minor League game Thursday that he was healed from a bruised right index finger. His return will force another tough call by management to make room for him on the roster.
Lilly, who had shoulder surgery last year and a Spring Training slowed by the flu and a rainout, will most likely be sent on an injury rehab assignment for more foundational innings. His placement was backdated to last Thursday.
Capuano is being viewed, for the time being, as a long reliever and the third lefty in the bullpen behind J.P. Howell and Paco Rodriguez.
Harang will be a long reliever too, but National League teams barely need one, let alone two. Harang remains the starter the Dodgers are most likely to trade at some point.
Harang and Capuano were in the starting rotation throughout the 2012 season, but the $200 million winter acquisitions of Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu displaced them from the starting rotation.
Stashing them in the bullpen means management was willing to limit manager Don Mattingly's relief flexibility in exchange for assuring starting depth.
Pitchers -- Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, Zack Greinke, Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, Ronald Belisario, J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, Matt Guerrier, Capuano, Harang
Catchers -- A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz
Infielders -- Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, Sellers, Cruz, Juan Uribe, Nick Punto
Outfielders -- Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Skip Schumaker, Jerry Hairston
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.