Joe Torre: Dodgers' Billingsley won't start this weekend
Chad Billingsley, who has slumped after starting the season as a potential ace of the Dodgers' pitching staff, will not start this weekend when the Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants, Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said today.
The 25-year-old right-hander also was sent to the Dodgers' bullpen for today's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in case the Dodgers need him following Tuesday night's 13-inning game, which the Dodgers won, 5-4, after using six pitchers, Torre said.
Billingsley likely would have started Saturday or Sunday, but Torre said the Dodgers' rotation for the Giants series would be Vicente Padilla on Friday, Jon Garland on Saturday and Randy Wolf on Sunday.
Hiroki Kuroda was starting for the Dodgers today, and the team is off Thursday.
Billingsley has lost four of his last five starts, including last Sunday against the Giants in San Francisco, and he seemed at a loss to explain what's wrong.
Several factors led to the decision to keep him out of the rotation this weekend, Torre said, adding that "he'll pitch, I think, the middle game in Washington" against the Nationals next Wednesday.
"Even though it’s not a big sampling, Garland's had maybe a little more success against the Giants than Bills has," Torre said. Also, "one of the main factors is that we may need help out of the bullpen today after using so many people last night."
And after Wolf pitched without pain Tuesday night -- he had missed a start with a sore left elbow -- "then that makes him the Sunday pitcher," Torre said.
But Torre also acknowledged that “we’re all of a mind that we want to get him [Billingsley] in a good place. Chad’s been kept abreast of this whole thing. I just told him that we needed to get him straightened out, whether it be a game or an inning or whatever, we just need to have him in the right direction. He was fine with it. He certainly understands.”-- Jim Peltz
Photo: Chad Billingsley. Credit: Arleen Ng / EPA