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Ted Lilly to bullpen?

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
The next time Ted Lilly does this, it could be as a reliever. (Getty Images)

Dodgers lefty Ted Lilly hasn't pitched since May 23 because of shoulder inflammation and was recently scratched from his second minor-league rehab start. As CBSSports.com Insider Danny Knobler noted on Twitter, the Dodgers are concerned.

How concerned? In the event that Lilly does pitch for them again in 2012 (that's hardly to be assumed at this point), it may be as a reliever. Manager Don Mattingly tells J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News that sending Lilly to the bullpen is "one of the things we could look at."

The post-deadline addition of Joe Blanton and the "small sample size" success of Stephen Fife, who was recently optioned back to Triple-A Albuquerque, give the Dodgers some depth in the rotation. As well, it's highly questionable whether Lilly can withstand a starter's workload if and when he returns this season.

On the year, the 36-year-old Lilly has a 3.14 ERA in 48.2 innings pitched. In 25 career relief appearances, Lilly has a 5.40 ERA, although he hasn't pitched out of the bullpen since 2003.

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