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Billingsley in the Rotation ‘Right Now’

Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers’ patience with rookie Chad Billingsley appears to be eroding. After the latest start in which he walked too many and taxed the bullpen again, Manager Grady Little said it was “in discussion” whether Billingsley would make his next start and deflected a question about whether the team remained committed to starting him every fifth day.

“We’re committed to try to win every game we play,” Little said. “Right now, he’s one of our five starters.”

In 61 innings, Billingsley has walked 47 and struck out 38. In his 11 starts, he has averaged 5 2/3 innings and 100 pitches.

Billingsley issued six walks in five innings Thursday, giving up one run and got no decision. Little, asked whether the Dodgers could accentuate how Billingsley “battled” while reminding him he made too many pitches, said, “We’ve had a lot of opportunities to get that point across to him, to tell you the truth.”

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Billingsley is 3-3 with a 3.52 earned-run average. He could be replaced by long reliever Aaron Sele, who went 7-4 with a 3.73 ERA in 14 starts.

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The Giants might find it curious that Brett Tomko is happy in the Dodgers’ bullpen. After all, when the Giants moved him to relief duty last year, he said, “Anyone in his right mind, when a starter is sent to the bullpen, he’s not going to be happy about it.”

The difference, Tomko said Friday, is that the Giants didn’t give him a choice and didn’t use him outside mop-up situations.

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“That’s miserable,” he said. “That’s the worst job. You feel like a chump out there sometimes.”

Tomko said he held no grudge against the Giants and would have accepted salary arbitration had they offered it. He acknowledged his frustration stemmed in part from concern that a long relief role could dampen his value in free agency. But the Dodgers signed him, for two years and $8.7 million, and he said they have promised he could start again if he asks.

“I’m under contract for next year,” he said. “I have nothing to lose.”

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Dodgers players received a memo Friday informing them that new FAA restrictions against carrying liquids onto airplanes apply to team charter flights. The Giants flew here Wednesday night and had Thursday off, so they also have not flown under the new rules.

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The Dodgers are not believed to be interested in reliever and former Dodger Guillermo Mota, who was designated for assignment Friday by the Cleveland Indians. Mota, 33, had a 6.24 ERA in 34 appearances. The Indians offered him in trade last month, but the Dodgers passed.... Catcher Toby Hall, who wore No. 44 in Tampa Bay, changed from No. 26 to No. 22, which became available upon the departure of Jose Cruz Jr. “I’m a double-digit kind of guy,” Hall said.


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