Billingsley raring to go after rehab start

Righty has no issues with bruised finger, set to start April 10 vs. Padres

Billingsley raring to go after rehab start

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley said he's ready to be activated after a 72-pitch rehab start Thursday night, and manager Don Mattingly didn't disagree.

Pitching for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, Billingsley went only four eventful innings, prolonged by two errors behind him and a Lake Elsinore Storm opponent that stole five bases. Billingsley was charged with four runs (three earned) on six hits, three walks, a hit batter and two strikeouts.

But he said he had no issues with the bruised right index finger that put him on the disabled list, not even when he threw curveballs, which he felt were improved from a 98-pitch Minor League start in Arizona last Friday. His fastballs were 91-92 mph.

"Throwing the curveball was the main thing and they were sharper," said Billingsley. "I'm ready for my next outing and there you go. I felt nothing."

His next outing will be April 10 in San Diego against the Padres, Mattingly said, assuming Billingsley has no further issues with the finger.

"As long as he feels healthy" Billingsley will start that game, Mattingly said. "As long as he doesn't go backward and feels it the next day. Obviously, we don't anticipate anything."

Mattingly said he was satisfied by Billingsley's body language, and by speaking to the pitcher briefly afterward, that the finger was no longer an issue.

"It's hard to judge when you send a pitcher to A ball," Mattingly said. "You're just making sure he's pain-free and throwing the breaking balls. He didn't throw a ton of them, but just the fact he throws it."

Billingsley said he was taken aback by the commotion of the Quakes' Opening Day atmosphere, from the helicopter that landed on the field during his pregame warmups in the bullpen to the between-innings promotions in front of the home dugout.

"Wow, it's a little different," he said.

Ted Lilly is scheduled to make a rehab start for Rancho Cucamonga Friday night.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.