Dodgers to give Haeger start on Thursday

Dodgers to give Haeger start on Thursday

ANAHEIM -- Charlie Haeger will be activated off the disabled list to start Thursday night against the Angels and Chad Billingsley might be activated off the disabled list to start as early as Monday night in San Francisco, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Tuesday.

Haeger, who has spent most of the past five weeks (except for one game) on the disabled list with two foot injuries, got the nod over Triple-A Albuquerque's Claudio Vargas because Haeger threw six scoreless innings Sunday in a rehab start for Albuquerque. He will be pitching on three days' rest, which Torre discounted as a factor because Haeger throws knuckleballs that are not taxing on the arm.

Billingsley, out since June 12 because of a strained groin, is eligible to come off the list Sunday, but that is Clayton Kershaw's regular day to pitch and Torre wants Kershaw to pitch against the Yankees. The Dodgers open a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday night.

For Haeger, Thursday could be a final exam, as Torre has been eager to see if he can show a reversal of form from an 0-4 record and 8.53 ERA compiled primarily as the fifth starter. He wasn't even expecting to be in Anaheim on Tuesday, but got the call that he was to throw a bullpen session.

"We'll find out about him coming off a good outing," Torre said. "Confidence-wise and physically, we feel the foot is not an issue. He got the knuckleball over in his last start. We're hoping, so we'll see. Potentially he can get deep in the game if all his stuff works."

Billingsley threw a 45-pitch bullpen session and said he didn't feel the groin grab on any pitch. He tested it Sunday in the bullpen in Boston, going through his windup and whipping a towel instead of throwing a ball.

"I'm taking it normal, just getting ready for my next start," said Billingsley. "Everything seems to be fine."