Capuano taking injured Greinke's spot in rotation

Capuano taking injured Greinke's spot in rotation

PHOENIX -- Chris Capuano will take over for the injured Zack Greinke in the Dodgers' starting rotation, beginning Tuesday night against the Padres.

Capuano, a 12-game winner for the Dodgers last year who was bumped from the rotation by the winter acquisitions of Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, got the call over Ted Lilly, who is still dealing with the aftermath of last year's shoulder surgery, but told the club he was ready to start Tuesday.

Capuano gives the Dodgers' rotation three left-handers (Clayton Kershaw, Ryu and Capuano) and two right-handers (Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley).

So far this season, Capuano has made two scoreless appearances in relief, striking out four in 2 2/3 innings. Until the final week of Spring Training, Capuano was used as a starting pitcher. His longest outing was six innings in a Minor League game on March 22.

"I don't think he's gotten away from being built up," said manager Don Mattingly. "Obviously, he's not going to throw 120 [pitches]. But he's been a guy who's made the most of the situation with his routine and jumping right in and staying on top of things and keeping sharp, and both times it showed."

Capuano said earlier this week that by focusing on his daily routine, he's been able to block out the drama and uncertainty of the Dodgers having five starting slots and eight starters, now down to seven with last weekend's trade of Aaron Harang.

"Through this whole thing, I hadn't been thinking big picture. I've been thinking about getting healthy," he said. "Like I said, it takes so much mental energy every day to come to the park. It's hard to stay physically strong. But when I get a chance, I want to be ready. That's where I've been putting my focus."

Capuano will be pitching for the first time since Thursday night, when he took over after Carlos Quentin broke Greinke's collarbone charging the mound after being hit by a pitch.

"I think in the stands there will be some hostility. I've even heard it here from some Dodgers fans that made the trip to Arizona. They go, 'Hey! What's going to happen on Monday?'" said Capuano. "But you know what? Donnie said it best, our focus is on winning ballgames. That's the best revenge. We're not out here trying to start fights or hurt anyone. Everyone understands the game, we want to be professionals."

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