Chad Billingsley Scratched with Elbow Pain
Dodgers' starter Chad Billingsley was scratched from his Sunday start with against the San Diego Padres due to "elbow pain." Chris Capuano will be starting in his place.
According to Dodger manager Don Mattingly, Billingsley alerted trainer Sue Falsone during Saturday night's game that he had been experiencing pain in his elbow for some time.
"Apparently he's been feeling something, but he hasn't really told anybody," Mattingly told reporters before the game. "He said it's been going on for a little bit, but he looked at it as normal stuff."
Falsone in turn noted pitching coach Rick Honeycutt who then alerted Mattingly after the game. Honeycutt did notice something off when Billingsley did a touch-and-feel on Saturday. The touch-and-feel is a non-bullpen session where a pitcher throws the ball on flat ground to maintain his touch and fell.
"Rick said the touch-and-feel he didn't like it," Mattingly explained. "Then he asked him then if he was feeling okay, and he was like he thought he was fine."
The 27-year old right-hander, who has a career-high 4.30 ERA with a 4-9 record, went off for an MRI Sunday morning with results expected by the end of the day.
Neither Falsone nor Honeycutt wanted to talk to reporters before knowing the extent of the injury.
This certainly puts a new wrinkle in the plans for Mattingly.
"We would have liked to know a little bit earlier," Mattingly bemoaned. "We set up guys rotation differently. When guys don't talk to you, you can't protect them."
Nathan Eovaldi will start Monday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies leaving an open spot Tuesday night. If the MRI shows significant damage, Mattingly talked about many options left to them. He did talk about using Jamey Wright out of the bullpen for a spot start. He also did mention bringing up John Ely from Triple-A Albuquerque who has seen a resurgence this season with a 3.22 ERA and 8-6 record in the extremely hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
Mattingly did rule out moving up Clayton Kershaw's start one day using him on short rest. "We're not pushing anybody up or anything like that. We'll figure that one out."
Throughout the season Mattingly has harped on players letting the staff know every single ache and pain they experience.
"My only issue with it all, and we talked to Chad about it, is not letting someone know about it so we can be paying attention to this. Sue and those guys go to school for a long time. They're pretty smart, and they can't really help you if you don't talk to them.
"It's really all of our guys. We talk about it all the time. Guys will just hold it in thinking they'll be fine. We all do it. So it's one of those issues we've got to keep fighting."
At least the Dodgers have cheerleaders to lift the spirits before the game. A gaggle of Southern California-area cheerleaders performed in the outfield prior to the start of Sunday's game.
So there's that.