Billingsley unhappy with command of cutter

Billingsley unhappy with command of cutter

Billingsley unhappy with command of cutter
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a shaky final outing of an inconsistent Spring Training, Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley said he just might scrap his cutter.

Otherwise pleased with his pitch repertoire, especially progress with his changeup, Billingsley said the cutter that had become a pitch he used regularly has abandoned him when he tries to locate it away to right-handers.

"I can attack with my fastball, the curve is my out pitch and the changeup I can throw in any count and have a lot of confidence in that right now," Billingsley said. "I don't know if I'll throw the cutter -- the left side it just spins all the time."

On a windy day, Billingsley needed 70 pitches to get through three innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Two hits were home runs -- a line drive nailed by Ryan Budde and a windblown fly ball that barely made it by Chris Young.

For the spring, Billingsley has a 5.91 ERA and he's allowed 33 hits in 21 1/3 innings.

Manager Don Mattingly deflected questioning about Billingsley's numbers, saying nobody remembers Spring Training stats. He said he's often seen players with poor exhibition stats go out and have big regular seasons.

"The season will tell us what's going on," Mattingly said. "If he keeps us in the game, guys think, 'Today we've got a chance.' If he's inconsistent, guys don't know what they're going to get. I've talked about it with Chad, the consistency. The stuff is there. If he's happy with his mechanics and most of his pitches and he's healthy, that's a good sign."