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Paul Maholm willing to pitch out of the bullpen if necessary

Feb 9, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

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The Dodgers made a depth signing when they agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal Saturday evening. With Dan Haren suffering from back and shoulder issues over the past two seasons, and with Josh Beckett working his way back from shoulder surgery last July, the Dodgers needed a fallback option in the event either or both of Haren and Beckett could not participate. Not to be forgotten, Chad Billingsley won’t be ready to come off of the disabled list until mid-season by most estimates.

Per Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, Maholm understands he may be asked to pitch in relief. However, the lefty intends to earn the #5 spot in the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

“I’m going to come in and compete,” Maholm said. “If I pitch well, then things will work out.”

The Dodgers, perhaps more than any other team, understand the value of pitching depth. They entered the 2013 season with a surfeit of starting pitching and were rumored to be shopping at least two starters — Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly, namely — towards the end of spring training. But Billingsley could only make two starts; Lilly made five starts and Beckett made eight. They traded for Ricky Nolasco in early July. He was one of 11 pitchers to make at least one start for the Dodgers.

  1. lanflfan - Feb 9, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    I’m not sure on Haren, and Beckett is just as much of a crap shoot, but I am counting on less than nothing positive from Billingsley. He has the talent, but never showed it consistently prior to the injury & surgery. Plus, he has a two cent head, and coming off of TJ surgery that little hamster may have fallen off its wheel. I am far more interested/excited to see some of the kids on the farm than Billingsley.

  2. Jon Weisman - Feb 9, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Chad Billingsley has a career adjusted ERA of 110 and 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings. He has had one below-average season since he debuted in the majors at age 21 in 2006. To expect “less than nothing” from him if he has recovered from surgery is pretty extreme.

  3. mrhahn34 - Feb 9, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    I think this is a great pick up for the Dodgers.

  4. yordo - Feb 10, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    And there it is. I told you clowns they had no room for him. Beckett is good to go. Y’all can suck it.

    • Professor Fate - Feb 10, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      Let me guess: A Dodgers fan once kicked your dog at the park, right? Too bad it was the wrong target…

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