4/8/2014 10:26 P.M. ET
Billingsley OK; scary pop was only scar tissue
By Earl Bloom / Special to MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The sensation that Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley felt while pitching Sunday in a rehab start was scar tissue breaking in his surgically repaired elbow and not a major setback in his comeback from Tommy John surgery.
"Guys coming back from any surgeries have scar tissue," Billingsley said Tuesday before the Dodgers played the Tigers at Dodger Stadium. "Sometimes it pops, sometimes it doesn't."
The pop he felt in his second inning for Class A Rancho Cucamonga against San Jose came on a curveball, Billingsley said.
"It was just scar tissue breaking, like cracking your neck," he said. "It didn't hurt when it happened, it didn't hurt after it. It didn't feel like pain I had in previous injuries."
But, Billingsley said, he'd never had scar tissue break before while actually pitching, so he was concerned and asked to be taken out of the game. He returned to Dodger Stadium on Sunday night, where Dr. Neal ElAttrache examined him and gave him the thumbs-up.
"I didn't know what it was before I got back here," Billingsley said. "One of our trainers was with me, and he told me it looked OK to him."
Billingsley will take a few days off from throwing before resuming rehab. He's scheduled to make four more Minor League starts.
"I had the adrenaline going [Sunday]," he said. "I was just glad to be out there, to compete. It's great to be back -- well, almost back -- competing."
Federowicz recalled, in starting lineup at catcher
LOS ANGELES -- Tim Federowicz, just recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque by the Dodgers, caught right-hander Dan Haren on Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers.
No. 1 catcher A.J. Ellis underwent left knee surgery Tuesday and will be out four to six weeks. Drew Butera, 30, caught Sunday against San Francisco and will likely share the job with Federowicz, 26, in Ellis' absence.
"There's no pressure -- I've been a starting catcher my entire career," said Federowicz, who's been in 66 games for the Dodgers over the past three seasons. "I know what it takes."
He said he expects to be the primary catcher with Ellis out but hasn't told been told that. Manager Don Mattingly said that, with the team's abbreviated spring for the Australia trip, Federowicz was sent to Albuquerque to get the at-bats he missed in the exhibition season.
"We'll see how it works," Federowicz said.
Ellis, already hurting before he was thrown out on a close play at the plate Saturday against the Giants, gave Federowicz a heads-up with a text message.
"That's the kind of guy he is," Federowicz said. "He said he'll be in tomorrow, and I'll get to talk to him then.
"I've been studying A.J. and how he prepares for a game -- that's what I want to work on. Defense will be my main focus."
Federowicz said he's ready for the challenge.
"Absolutely," he said. "I've been ready for a while. It sucks, the circumstances, but that's the way the game is."
Right-hander Zack Greinke gave Butera a ringing endorsement Sunday after their first game together turned into a 6-2 Dodgers victory.
"He's a defensive specialist, he can catch as good as anybody in baseball," Greinke said. "A.J. calls a great game and is outstanding defensively. It's just that Drew is as good as it gets."
Butera said: "That's nice of him to say. He made it very easy on me."
Neither catcher has hit much in the big leagues. Federowicz has a .227 career average over 176 at-bats; Butera, son of former big league catcher Sal (1980-88), is at .180 over 500 MLB at-bats. The Dodgers want defense first though, which they feel the two will provide.
"We have some guys who can step up," Mattingly said. "We feel like Fed and Drew are capable."
Asked if the rest of the Dodgers lineup should be able to cover for the defensive-minded catchers, Mattingly said: "I think we should be able to. We're capable of scoring more. We'll see what we'll get."
Beckett expected to start finale against Tigers
LOS ANGELES -- It likely won't be official until sometime Wednesday, but right-hander Josh Beckett will make his first Dodgers start of 2014 that night against the Detroit Tigers at Dodger Stadium.
Beckett again tested the ankle he tweaked Friday during a rehab start before Tuesday's game and said it's fine.
The 2003 World Series MVP is on the disabled list because of a right thumb injury. He pitched into the fifth inning Friday for Class A Rancho Cucamonga before coming out after he tried to field a bunt. Beckett completed a normal bullpen Sunday, and he said the arm is fine and the ankle didn't bother him.
"We haven't announced it yet, but he looks like the guy" to start Wednesday, manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday.
Beckett is coming off an injury-shortened 2013 and underwent surgery in July to remove a rib and alleviate a nerve problem.
The Dodgers would need to activate Beckett from the DL and make a corresponding roster move before Wednesday's finale of a two-game set.
Puig sidelined for second game by thumb injury
LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig was not in the Dodgers lineup for the second game in a row Tuesday night because of a left thumb injury, but manager Don Mattingly said the outfielder "is still kind of day to day" and might be available in some capacity against the Tigers at Dodger Stadium.
Mattingly said Puig, who also missed Sunday's game against San Francisco, was going to be fitted with a splint so he could do baseball activities.
"He's going to hit inside, and he can throw," the manager said.
Carl Crawford started in left field, Matt Kemp in center and Andre Ethier in right.
Mattingly said he was not sure how Puig could be used, if at all, in the opener of the two-game series. Puig was available to pinch-run Sunday but did not enter the game.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.