Dodgers left-handed starting pitcher Ted Lilly will start the regular season on the disabled list. The Dodgers made the announcement today after Lilly threw a bullpen session without pain. Lilly had the same neck injury last season, and was able to see an acupuncturist at his wife’s request at that time. Lilly has been suffering from a rusty neck since he last pitched on March 21. The Dodgers were hoping that they wouldn’t have to place him on the DL to start the season, but unfortunately that will not be the case.
The Dodgers will instead move Chris Capuano up into Lilly’s number three spot in the rotation because the Dodgers have a rare off-day after their first series in San Diego. Capuano looked sharp today in the Dodgers split squad loss to the Brewers. Cappy pitched 6 innings of one run ball only allowing two hits and whiffing seven Brewers. Cappy has looked very sharp this spring. In 19.2 innings this spring, Cappy has a 2.25 ERA, 22 whiffs, and only 5 walks. He has held batters to a .197 average with a .97 WHIP. Despite Cappy impressing again, the Dodgers still lost the game though by a score of 9-4.
In the meantime, the Dodgers will add an eighth reliever to the roster until Lilly is able to come off the DL. The most likely choice would be right-hander Josh Lindblom, since he still has options to be able to be sent back and forth between the minors and the big club.
The Dodgers still feel that it would be best to be cautious with Lilly. His DL trip is retroactive, meaning he should be back in time by April 14, which is the next time his spot in the rotation comes up.
Despite the fact that Lilly said he feels fine, it is probably best he take a couple of weeks off, to make sure the injury doesn’t reoccur.
Lilly understood the decision, and had this to say…”It felt good today,” Lilly said. “I can’t predict the future, but I don’t expect any setbacks from here. I don’t feel any pain. Maybe a little stiff, but nothing grabbing.”
Lilly also said his arm felt good, and his stamina was fine. Hey if anything does happen and Lilly’s neck remains rusty, we always have Nathan Eovaldi, ready to go in a pinch.