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Dodgers spring training 2013: 8 pitchers on starter schedule to continue for now

After the rain-shortened game against the Cincinnati Reds, Don Mattingly talks about the upcoming schedule and how much longer the Dodgers will be keeping eight pitchers on a starter routine.

Rob Tringali

The Dodgers will keep all eight starters on their current program to build up innings, Don Mattingly said after a pair of rain-shortened games on Friday.

"We're going to keep them on their program, it just depends where they get that work," Mattingly said. "I know there is date out there that Rick's talked about when we have to have our (five) starters lined up but we are not there yet."

But that date is coming because after next week's off day and split squad days, the time and more importantly, innings are growing shorter. "It starts to be a battle to get different guys innings. Innings are running out for certain guys," Mattingly said.

Friday didn't go as planned as only one starter, Chris Capuano got his work in on the pitching mound in a spring training game. Ted Lilly, who started against the Giants at Scottsdale during the afternoon only got to pitch in the first inning because that game had two rain delays and was cancelled early in the second inning.

Mattingly explained that pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt has a plan for Lilly, which could include pitching Tuesday in relief of Josh Beckett.

"Rick is working on a little bit different plan to pop him back a little quicker and he did a little extra in the bullpen but not too much so I think," Mattingly said. "We need to get them innings to get them built up. That's the battle."

While Lilly didn't get his work in on field, Capuano reached his pitch limit in the top of the fourth when the game was called. "He was right at 60 [pitches] or one or two over," Mattingly said. "He was at his last hitter."

Both Mattingly and Capuano agreed that the left-hander pitched well on Friday night.

"I was getting my curve ball over for strikes, my change up had pretty good movement on it, and I threw some good sliders too," Capuano said. "The fastball command was spotty at times for me, but I kind of got it under control."

The only real issue for Capuano was his 90-minute back from Scottsdale to Camelback Ranch, as he was going to follow Lilly on the mound against the Giants. Capuano added that once your warm and throwing, it is not bad at all, even if he had to wait all day to pitch.

"I don't mind day games and I'm okay rain delays," Capuano said. "You think about the position players and extra players that are going to both games and backing up, as a starting pitcher, you get out there once a week to pitch, you have to wait a while it is not a big deal."

Mattingly said that Grienke will pitch Monday against the Brewers, and Josh Beckett will pitch on Tuesday against the Reds. It is likely that someone will throw on the off day but they have not discussed with the players yet who that will be. Mattingly said as the games begin to lessen, they can always find places in minor league games and on the back fields for the relievers to get their work in.

"With relievers it is easier to get work back here and then we can put two starters together for the game," Mattingly said.