Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly, who hasn't pitched for the team since May 23, was scheduled to pitch his second rehab game for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, but that will not happen. Lilly suffered a setback that has thrown his rehab off schedule.
"It wasn't getting to where I can draw my arm back far enough without it catching," Lilly said.
"Some of the similar pains were coming back," said manager Don Mattingly. "I kind of knew the other day that Teddy wasn't feeling quite right."
Lilly pitched on Sunday for two innings in his first rehab start, then through in the bullpen after getting taken out of the game, throwing about 45 pitches in all. Now, he hopes to throw a bullpen session in a few days, and see where he goes from there.
Lilly admitted that his shoulder issues have challenged his optimism this season.
"I try not to let (my optimism wane). It can drive you a little crazy," Lilly said. "Guys deal with it all the time. I'm not the only one."
Neither Lilly nor Mattingly said they haven given up on Lilly returning as a starter this season, but as the schedule runs out of remaining games that likelihood goes down each day. Lilly was asked if he would try a relief role if he was unable to build back hup his arm strength enough to start.
"I would do whatever they felt gave us the best chance to win the division, then to go on and continue to win from there. That's what the rest of this clubhouse wants to do," Lilly said. "You can't be concerned with what one individual player wants. Ultimately it's whatever is best for the organization."
In light of Lilly's setback, the move to acquire Joe Blanton looks better and better. General manager Ned Colletti said the trade gave him flexibility.
"It also provides our roster with some depth, as we wait for Ted Lilly to come back, for Rubby De La Rosa to come back," Colletti said. "If we can keep everybody healthy in the rotation, there is less of a push to do something maybe a touch early."
Colletti said he spoke to the Phillies about Blanton before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline, but couldn't come to an agreement.
"It got a little complicated, so we decided to to stay with the original plan to acquire Shane Victorino, then we'll see what transpires."
While Lilly's setback helped grease the wheels on acquiring Blanton, the Dodgers have been in play for a starting pitcher for some time, having long been linked to Ryan Dempster, who was eventually traded by the Cubs to Texas.
"We were on that path with the guy from Chicago for a long time. When we get that news with Teddy, it makes it a little more urgent," said Mattingly.
In baseball, teams can get fined for tampering by mentioning players on other teams, which explains Mattingly's reluctance to say Dempster's name, and also explains Colletti's unwillingness to discuss anything regarding Cliff Lee, who was reportedly claimed on waivers by the Dodgers.
Blanton, who was originally scheduled to pitch for Philadelphia Friday night, is expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Saturday. Mattingly said he is still trying to figure out how to shuffle the rotation based on matchups, but Blanton will either start Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. In the interim, expect Stephen Fife to be optioned on Saturday for an extra reliever, likely Josh Wall, until Blanton starts.
- Dee Gordon has the cast off his right thumb, and will head to Arizona next Friday to begin rehab at Camelback Ranch.
- Adam Kennedy has gone 2-for-5 with a triple and a walk in a pair of rehab games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He continues his rehab with Rancho tonight, and is eligible to return as early as August 9.
Scott Elbert played catch on flat ground today, and Mattingly said the lefty was still on schedule to miss the minimum of 15 days with left elbow inflammation. Elbert is eligible to return on August 10.
- Jerry Hairston Jr. said his right shin felt fine and that he is available to play tonight.
- Colletti, when asked if the Dodgers were done making moves, said, "We're done until the next one."
Hanley Ramirez makes his first start at shortstop for the Dodgers tonight, with Luis Cruz starting at third base.
|CF||DeJesus (L)||LF||Victorino (S)
|C||Clevenger (L)||1B||Loney (L)
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket