Dodger Roster Appears Set: Russ Ortiz Likely Over Green

After today's 6-4 loss to the Angels in front of 35,310 at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers optioned Xavier Paul, Chin-Lung Hu, and A.J. Ellis to Triple A Albuquerque, essentially leaving the final opening day roster spot down to Nick Green or Russ Ortiz.  Nothing will be official until tomorrow, but it appears Ortiz has won that final roster spot.  Per Jill Painter of the LA Daily News:

Not official from the Dodgers, but it looks like Russ Ortiz has made the team. Nick Green told me he wasn't making the trip to Pittsburgh.

Manager Joe Torre said the decision on the final roster spot has been made, but won't be announced until tomorrow, when the team is in Pittsburgh.  There is still the matter of placing both Hong-Chih Kuo and Cory Wade on the disabled list, which will both likely happen tomorrow.  This won't be official until noon Sunday, but this appears to be the likely opening day roster:

Starting Pitchers (5):
Vicente Padilla, Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Charlie Haeger

Relievers (7):
Jonathan Broxton, George Sherrill, Ramon Troncoso, Ramon Ortiz, Jeff Weaver, Carlos Monasterios, Russ Ortiz

Catchers (2):
Russell Martin, Brad Ausmus

Infielders (6):
James Loney, Blake DeWitt, Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake, Ronnie Belliard, Jamey Carroll

Outfielders (5):
Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Reed Johnson, Garret Anderson

Disabled List (2):
Cory Wade, Hong-Chih Kuo

As for the game itself:

Chad Billingsley did not end his spring on a high note, as he was unable to complete three innings before throwing 75 pitches.  Billingsley gave up five of his six runs in the third inning, including a towering grand slam by Kendry Morales into the Loge level in right field.  The Angels saw 48 pitches in the third inning alone, 39 of them thrown by Billingsley.  Billingsley's spring ERA went from a "he's really looking good this year" 1.84 before the game to a "spring stats don't matter anyway" 4.67 after.

Billingsley struck out Jeff Mathis to open his soon-to-be disastrous third inning, and at that point had allowed just one run while striking out four, without issuing a walk.  His curve and slider were sharp up to that point, but then the wheels came off.  He allowed three walks and a single to the next four batters, before Morales brought them all home.  "His stuff was good, his velocity was good, he got ahead of a couple of hitters that inning, and let it get away from him," said Torre, " I know he was more frustrated than we were.  For the most part this spring, he was fine."

Hiroki Kuroda, however, was outstanding in his final spring outing, striking out five in his four innings of work, throwing just 51 pitches.  "Kuroda was pretty darned good, 51 pitches in four innings is about as good as you can be.  He has had a great spring," said Torre, "If he's able to stay on the field and pitch in the regular rotation, he could be something special."  After allowing a double to his first batter, Mike Napoli, Kuroda retired the final 12 batters he faced.

Ramon Ortiz, who won his way onto the roster with a stellar spring, pitched yet another scoreless inning to finish his exhibition season with a sparkling 0.96 ERA (two runs, 17 baserunners in 18 2/3 innings).

Paul had a double and a home run in four at-bats.

Box Score

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