Beckett, Billingsley out; Greinke set for Wednesday
Illness, bruised finger sideline starters; free-agent acquisition's elbow healing
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers had to scratch Monday's starting pitcher Josh Beckett with the flu and Tuesday starter Chad Billingsley with a bruised right index finger, but Zack Greinke is scheduled to start Wednesday.
Manager Don Mattingly also said that Ted Lilly, one of the original eight contenders for a starting spot, is essentially out of the running because of time missed from illness.
Greinke, who has been out more than a week with a sore elbow, will pitch either in the Dodgers' road exhibition game against Kansas City or, more likely, in a Minor League or simulated game that can be controlled, making 45 pitches. Greinke came out of a bullpen session Sunday with no problems.
"He felt good this morning," Mattingly said of Greinke, who would then be on track to start March 25, March 30 and April 5 against Pittsburgh. He originally was scheduled to make his regular-season debut April 2.
Billingsley suffered the bruise trying to bunt during batting practice Friday. X-rays were negative and Billingsley reported getting the feeling back in the digit Monday, but he said he couldn't command his pitches during a bullpen session Sunday.
"I'm better," said Billingsley. "The feeling is coming back in my finger. The command wasn't there with it bruised up and swollen. I'm still throwing and getting my work in for my arm. I'm day by day."
Mattingly said Billingsley would be scratched as a precautionary measure with an eye on the partially torn elbow ligament he has healed from.
"We're concerned from the standpoint of him changing his grip and then changing his arm angle," Mattingly said, adding that Billingsley might pitch next with Hyun-Jin Ryu on Saturday.
Chris Capuano will take Billingsley's start, while Monday's game will be handled by relievers, with Josh Wall starting and followed by Paco Rodriguez and Shawn Tolleson.
As for Lilly, who was lifted from his Sunday start in the third inning, Mattingly said, "At this point, it would be really hard to get Teddy built to go 90 pitches. He seems to have the worst luck. With rain, hail, being sick -- he hasn't had any routine. He's been behind from the beginning."
Mattingly, however, said Lilly will continue to be worked as a starter, probably in Minor League games. Left unspoken is whether he would be a candidate to start the season on the disabled list.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.