05/16/2013 3:36 AM ET
Dodgers ink lefty Sanchez to Minor League deal
By Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers and veteran left-hander Jonathan Sanchez agreed to terms on a Minor League deal on Wednesday in a move that adds depth to the rotation at Triple-A Albuquerque.
Sanchez was 0-3 with a 11.85 ERA in five games with the Pirates before he was released last week. The Dodgers faced Sanchez on April 4 at Dodger Stadium, when the veteran allowed three runs on six hits in five innings in a loss.
"I'm sure it's got something to do with depth," manager Don Mattingly said before Wednesday's game against the Nationals. "With some of the issues we've had with injuries to a number of pitchers, it's a guy that's been a quality starter in the past. He's had a couple of years where he's struggled."
The Dodgers called up two members of Albuquerque's rotation in April because of injuries at the Major League level.
Stephen Fife replaced Chad Billingsley, who is out for the year following Tommy John surgery, but went on the disabled list after only one start. Rookie Matt Magill filled that spot in the rotation and will remain with the Dodgers because right-hander Josh Beckett was placed on the disabled list Wednesday.
Sanchez, 30, is 39-58 with a 4.70 ERA in his big league career. The only time he enjoyed a winning season was 2010, when he was 13-9 with the Giants and started one game in the World Series. Sanchez has an opt-out clause in the deal if he's not in the Majors on July 1.
Lilly feels healthy after five-inning rehab outing
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly declared himself healthy after going five innings during a Minor League rehab start with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday night.
Lilly allowed four runs on five hits, striking out three against three walks as the Quakes lost to the San Jose Giants, 4-3.
The veteran said he felt no discomfort from a strained right rib cage that forced him to the disabled list May 3. He was in the Dodgers' clubhouse after their 3-1 win over the Nationals and will travel with the club to Atlanta for a three-game series that begins Friday.
Lilly said he does not expect to make another start in the Minors, though he said he hasn't spoken to management about the next step in his rehab.
Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert pitched a scoreless sixth inning with the Quakes, allowing one hit and walking one. The left-hander has tossed three scoreless innings since beginning his rehab assignment on Friday. He's working his way back from a pair of elbow operations during the winter.
Jansen's save clouds Dodgers' closer situation
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wouldn't commit to a closer after Tuesday's game, when Kenley Jansen shut the door against the Nationals instead of Brandon League.
Mattingly said Monday that League was the closer "for now," but did not get the right-hander up in the bullpen at any point Tuesday night.
Jansen, who began the season setting up League, said his mindset remains the same.
"Whenever the phone rings, I just go out and pitch," Jansen said. "That's what I do. I just try to pick my teammates up and help the team win. That's all I'm thinking about."
With the Dodgers leading, 2-0, in the top of the ninth with two out and a runner on first, Mattingly thought Jansen was the best option to preserve the win for Clayton Kershaw.
"I just felt like I had to go with the guy who's throwing the ball best; as much as anything he's been throwing the ball better than anybody out there," Mattingly said. "I've got to go with my best guy at that point. I felt like Kenley was the best chance of getting that guy out."
Jansen struck out Tyler Moore to earn his second save in as many opportunities. The hard-throwing right-hander has 28 strikeouts in 20 innings, with 17 scoreless outings in relief.
"I just trust my stuff," Jansen said. "I'm just focused. I think my focus is kind of better now compared to what it used to be."
League, meanwhile, is 0-2 with a 6.28 ERA in 14 appearances. He's converted eight of nine save chances, but has allowed runs in eight of his past 11 outings, including three straight.
• Leadoff hitter Carl Crawford was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday vs. the Nationals as management remains cautious with his right hamstring that has been tight at times this season. He entered in the bottom of the eighth as a pinch-hitter and delivered a sacrifice fly to provide the final margin in the Dodgers' 3-1 win.
Mattingly expects Crawford to return to the lineup Friday following an off day Thursday.
• Mattingly said he expects to give outfielder Andre Ethier a day off Friday in Atlanta against left-hander Paul Maholm.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.