LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' pitching staff is close to being at full strength.
Chad Billingsley made his final minor-league rehab start for Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night and is scheduled to come off the disabled list to pitch Wednesday's game in San Diego. It will be Billingsley's first outing since Aug. 24 of last season. He missed the final five weeks because of an elbow injury.
Billingsley said all spring he has had no further trouble with the elbow, but he began the season on the DL after bruising a finger during a drill. Billingsley said he threw about a dozen curveballs Thursday and that his fingernail remained intact afterward. He gave up four runs and six hits, walking three and striking out three hitters.
Before he was injured last season, Billingsley was on a roll, going 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last seven starts.
"It seems like it's been a while since I pitched in a game," Billingsley said. "I'm anxious to get back out there, compete and win some ballgames."
The rest of the Dodgers' pitching staff is in a bit of a logjam. Ted Lilly is scheduled to pitch for Rancho Cucamonga on Friday night and is eligible to come off the DL late next week. The Dodgers don't have much room for him, with two other starters, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, being stashed in the bullpen for now.
Manager Don Mattingly met with Harang before Friday's game with the Pittsburgh Pirates to discuss his role, which appears minimal.
"He understands our situation," Mattingly said. "That doesn't mean he's all that thrilled about it."