Dodgers spring training 2013: Filling out the bullpen

USA TODAY Sports

A look at filling the final few spots in the bullpen from a pair of different perspectives, one from a reliever and one about a possible starter moved to the bullpen.

The Dodgers battle the Angels on Thursday night in the opener of the Freeway Series in Anaheim, but most eyes are focused on Sunday, the day opening day rosters must be submitted to MLB. The Dodgers have two, maybe three bullpen spots open, and several pitchers vying to remain on the roster.

Barring something unforeseen this weekend, Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly , and Aaron Harang will find themselves out of the starting rotation. It's just a matter of how many of them will be in the bullpen.

"We haven't announced any of it, so it's hard to say. But you'll find some of them out, pitching out of our bullpen," said manager Don Mattingly. "We haven't finalized that because you never know what's going to happen going forward."

One of the starters who could end up in the bullpen is Chris Capuano, who was talking to Mattingly one-on-one on the field during batting practice. Capuano last pitched a minor league game on Tuesday, and would be in line to pitch on Saturday. But that's when Zack Greinke starts, and he he is scheduled to throw 90 or so pitches.

"(Capuano is) going to pitch again before we leave, but how we use him, we'll see," Mattingly said

Another one fighting for a bullpen spot is Josh Wall, who has options. Wall has pitched well this spring with 12 strikeouts and two walks, but could find himself back in Triple-A Albuquerque to begin the year.

"I don't know where I stand. The fact that I'm still here is a good sign. I see the numbers and I don't know if there is anything else I could do that would help me," Wall said. "I'm just going to approach (this weekend) like I have all of spring training. I'm going to try to do the best I can, and hopefully it works out.

"Obviously the number one goal is to make the team. It's not going the way I play or pitch. If I have to start off in Triple-A, hopefully I can be the first one they call up."

Notes

  • The Dodger Stadium Express shuttle, which runs between Union Station and Dodger Stadium before and after every home game, will begin service at 9:45 a.m. PT on Monday for opening day. Normally service begins 90 minutes prior to game time.
  • Mattingly said Ryu would likely throw a similar amount of pitches as Clayton Kershaw, who threw 54 pitches in his final spring tuneup on Wednesday.
  • After old friend Joe Blanton, other Angels scheduled to pitch Thursday night include Scott Downs, Sean Burnett, Mitch Stetter, Ken Jepsen, and Ernesto Frieri.
  • The Dodgers listed everyone on the roster as available to pitch in relief Thursday. Matingly said the relievers will get their regular work somehow, but ideally he would like to use the relievers in as close to a role this weekend as he would during the regular season.
  • Greinke is expected to throw roughly 90 pitches on Saturday in his final spring start.

Games info

Time: 6:05 p.m. PT (Rancho) | 7:05 p.m. PT (Anaheim)

TV: none (Rancho) | Prime Ticket, Fox Sports West, MLB Network delayed (Anaheim)

Radio: 1510 AM (Rancho) | 570 Fox Sports LA (Anaheim)

Box Score (Rancho) | Gameday (Anaheim)

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