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Dodgers might schedule "B" game to get pitchers innings

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The early split-squad game plus the easing in of starters Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu has made for ample opportunity for the bevy of pitchers in Dodgers camp to get consistent work. But with a slew of single-game days coming and the starting rotation normalizing, the team may look to add a "B" game next week to provide more innings.

"I think yesterday was a big day for us as far as getting through that without having to use a bunch of extra guys. After three days, we used close to 20 pitchers," manager Don Mattingly said on Saturday. "We got through those clean, and what it leads to is that we'll probably need innings for guys around the 11th."

The Dodgers used exactly 20 pitchers on Thursday and Friday in three games combined, including three from minor league camp. In the first four days of games, the Dodgers have used 22 pitchers in major league camp outside of the starting five.

Two more get make their first 2015 Cactus League appearances today in Goodyear, with Mike Bolsinger and Chad Gaudin each slated to pitch two innings.

To back Bolsinger and Gaudin on Saturday, five minor league pitchers suited up for Saturday's game against the Indians — right-handers Matt Shelton (No. 89), Jeremy Horst (97), Chin-hui Tsao (91) and Blake Smith (88), and left-hander Dustin Richardson (98).

But starting Sunday with Brandon McCarthy, the starting rotation is back in order, and the Dodgers don't have another split-squad day until March 20.

It's a tad too early for roster cuts, so finding enough innings for 22 non-starters, some of whom are on a starter's program this spring themselves (read: extended innings), will be a challenge. That number will soon grow to 24 whenever Joel Peralta and Mike Adams are ready for game action.

Peralta threw his third bullpen session on Saturday and will likely throw live batting practice to hitters in a few days before pitching in games.

"If those goes good today, [Peralta will] probably throw against hitters next. For him it's just building arm strength at this point," Mattingly said. "He's been able to do everything without any setbacks."

Adams, who was signed last Sunday to a minor league contract, is getting closer to game action, still needing another bullpen session or two then likely pitching to hitters before pitching in games.

Mattingly had hinted previously about a possible "B" game, which would likely be played against the White Sox, their co-tenants at Camelback Ranch, on one of the back fields at some point between pregame workouts and that day's game begins.

Wednesday makes the most sense for the "B" game with five different multi-inning pitchers ready to pitch on normal rest after pitching on Friday.