The Dodgers are switching up their starting rotation a little bit this week, and the order for the regular season is beginning to take shape. Josh Beckett will likely throw a simulated game on Thursday on the back fields at Camelback Ranch, a move that could line him up as the third starter once the regular season opens.
Beckett threw three scoreless innings against the Indians on Sunday, and has pitched five scoreless innings in two Cactus League games. He was originally scheduled to start Friday against the Reds, but manager Don Mattingly said the plan to have Beckett pitch on short rest this week allows the opportunity for more rest as the camp goes on.
Mattingly said the tentative plan for Beckett after Thursday's simulated game would be starts on Mar. 12 against the Reds and Mar. 17 in one of the Dodgers' split squad games, with both of those starts on regular four days rest. But after that, Beckett will likely start on Mar. 23 against the White Sox and Mar. 29 at Dodger Stadium against the Angels, both games on five days rest.
That would also line Beckett up to pitch on four days rest on Apr. 3, the Dodgers' third game of the season. While Mattingly wouldn't commit to naming Beckett his third starter, that appears to be the case.
"It lines him up to get extra rest late," Mattingly said. "We're getting guys lined up a little bit. We have to start. But it's a little bit more for the rest and being able to work the way we want."
Ted Lilly was originally slated to pitch on Tuesday, following Clayton Kershaw, but after a weekend of dealing with a sick household plans have changed. Lilly's wife and kids were sick on Saturday, and Lilly himself was sick on Sunday. Mattingly said that Lilly would likely throw a side bullpen session on Wednesday, and will likely start one of the two games on Friday.
It is unknown yet who will start the other game on Friday, but with one game Thursday it's possible that Chad Billingsley and Chris Capuano, who have pitched both of their games in tandem, get split up.
On Wednesday, starter Zack Greinke will stay in Glendale to face Team Mexico, with Hyun-jin Ryu headed to Goodyear to face the Indians as the Dodgers have split squad action. Manager Don Mattingly will also make the trip, to watch Ryu pitch. Mattingly missed Ryu's first start (and second appearance) on Friday against the Angels, as he was back at Glendale managing the Dodgers in another split squad game.