The rotation was not supposed to be carousel material, but here the Dodgers are, likely having to make another an unexpected early move.
Making his first start of the season after Zack Greinke’s fractured collarbone, Chris Capuano left Tuesday’s game against the Padres after two-plus innings with a strained calf. Meanwhile, at the same time Ted Lilly was throwing five innings in a rehab start he felt he really didn’t need to make.
Capuano was uncertain about the severity of his strain and did not think it significant, but is scheduled to have an MRI on Thursday, which is a travel day.
If nothing else, this would appear to buy the Dodgers some time in their one-too-many-starters rotation dilemma. Which is what they’ve been doing a lot of recently. It would be easy now to place Capuano on the 15-day disabled list and insert Lilly into the rotation.
With off-days Thursday and Monday, the Dodgers could skip the fifth spot in the rotation once or push it back a second time and not need it until April 28.
Mattingly said he likes to use the off-days to give his starters an extra day every so often, so he may not pencil in the fifth spot until April 24 against the Mets in New York.
Capuano said he suffered what felt like a similar strain four or five years ago and was out about a week.
“It's not a full tear or anything like that,” Capuano said. “We'll take a look on Thursday to see what grade it is. Hopefully the MRI will show it's not a very severe strain.”
Capuano said he hurt the calf covering first base to collect the final out in the second inning. At first the Dodgers got Matt Guerrier up in the bullpen, but Capuano taped up the calf and convinced Manager Don Mattingly to let him start the third. He walked his only batter, Jose Guzman, and was removed.
“I felt like I could sit back on it and push off,” he said. “But the walk to Guzman there it was pretty obvious I wasn't driving off that leg the way I needed to. I wanted to stay out there to try to give us some innings because I knew we needed innings. But I feel like they made the right decision. I was hurting.”
Mattingly said after Tuesday’s game they were trying to determine whether to call up a reliever, but were uncertain whether they could get one to Dodger Stadium in time for Wednesday’s game against San Diego.