LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his injured right elbow Thursday "to try to see if he's able to pitch again this year," manager Don Mattingly said.
The Dodgers have been vague in describing the extent of Billingsley's injury, calling it "inflammation," although club CEO Stan Kasten told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday he feared the pitcher was out for the rest of the season.
The PRP injection is generally used for tears in tendons and ligaments, an ominous possibility when it involves a pitcher's elbow. Several Dodgers have used the method in an attempt to accelerate healing while delaying surgery, including reliever Takashi Saito, who used it in 2008 in hopes of recovering from a partial elbow ligament tear.
The Dodgers have not said whether Billingsley has a tear in his elbow, although he did have an MRI that would have revealed a tear last weekend. PRP also has been effective in treating osteoarthritis.
"If he's able to throw after this, he's not finished and if that's the case, he'll start a throwing program," Mattingly said. "If not, there's a different plan. We're trying to see if this helps. It could be something that ends up more than that."
In other medical news, left-hander Ted Lilly played catch for the first time since last weekend's back injury as he tries to heal up in time to provide September relief. Lilly said his shoulder, which likely will need offseason surgery, has improved enough to do that.
Scott Elbert, put on the disabled list Wednesday with recurring elbow pain, was scheduled to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache to determine if there is any treatment that would allow him to pitch in September, even with additional days off to recover. Elbert is expected to need offseason surgery to remove scar tissue from the back of his elbow.
On bobblehead night, Scully throws out first pitch
LOS ANGELES -- With a hand from his 15 grandchildren, legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Thursday's game against the D-backs on the night he was honored with a bobblehead.
On the mound, Scully made believe he was throwing a pitch to manager Don Mattingly at home plate before walking toward the third-base line, where his grandchildren were lined up waiting. Each of the 15, ranging from ages 5 to 22, passed the ball down the line before Scully flipped the ball to Mattingly halfway down the line.
Prior to the pitch, the Hall of Fame broadcaster posed for pictures with his entire family, as well as Arizona manager Kirk Gibson, who was honored with his own bobblehead earlier this season.
Scully is one of 10 Dodgers greats given a bobblehead this year, which is the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium. His granddaughter, Mackenzie Luderer, sang the national anthem before the game.
Earlier this week, Scully announced he would be coming back for an unprecedented 64th season next year, partly because he didn't have it in his heart to say goodbye.
"What's the old line, 'Squeeze the juice out of life before life squeezes the juice out of you,'" he said.
"So I'm squeezing."
Stiff shoulder keeps Kemp out of Dodgers' lineup
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp was out of the Dodgers' starting lineup Thursday night and it wasn't because of his knee, jaw or chin.
It was a stiff left shoulder, the delayed symptom surfacing as a reminder of the cost of running into fences face-first at full speed.
That's what Kemp did in the first inning Tuesday night at Coors Field. Two batters later he came out of the game, passed a CT scan on his jaw and an MRI on his knee while taking three stitches to close a gash on his chin.
But like a car accident or similar trauma, new symptoms can present themselves 24 to 48 hours after the initial event.
"His knee feels pretty good, doing a lot more stuff, but his left shoulder is a little stiff and that's keeping him back today," manager Don Mattingly said. "I did the lineup tonight thinking he still had a chance to play. He did a lot to get loose and a lot of areas are really good. But the left shoulder didn't get loose."
Kemp didn't even mention the shoulder when he told reporters he was just trying to get the swelling out of his left knee.
"We'll see how it feels tomorrow," he said. "Just take it day by day. It's always frustrating. It's been a frustrating year, sitting out a lot of games. I'm used to playing every day, so it's frustrating when I can't play."
Kemp earlier missed 51 games with two stints on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
Shane Victorino again moved over to start in center field with Juan Rivera starting in left field.
With 'pen in flux, Dodgers welcome back Guerrier
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier has been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list to join a depleted bullpen that took a hit with closer Kenley Jansen being out indefinitely with a recurrence of an irregular heartbeat and lefty Scott Elbert going on the disabled list with a sore elbow.
Righty Josh Wall was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque and Dee Gordon was transferred to the 60-day DL (eligible to be reinstated on Sept. 3) in corresponding moves.
Guerrier has been on the DL with right elbow tendinitis since April 19 after going 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in seven games to open the season. How the righty's arm holds up will determine whether he will need offseason surgery.
The reliever will be a welcome addition to a short and overworked bullpen. Manager Don Mattingly didn't have much news to report with Jansen, who was scheduled to meet with a doctor on Thursday.
Although he said it's not ideal, Mattingly plans to alternate Brandon League and Ronald Belisario in the closer role based on matchups with Jansen out.
Jansen missed four weeks last year with a similar situation that required blood thinners, and he had a mild episode during Spring Training this year that didn't require him to miss any time. He has 25 saves and a 2.54 ERA this season.
"He's going to have to make sure he understands everything he has to do to make sure he is taking care of himself," Mattingly said. "We need to understand exactly what we should be doing for him to help him take care of himself."
Mattingly said the best-case scenario would be Jansen returning fairly quickly, but he wanted to wait to hear from the doctors before saying just how quick that could be.
League is a year removed from making the All-Star Game as a closer with the Mariners, and Belisario closes when he plays in the Venezuelan Winter League. Belisario, who picked up his first save since 2010 on Wednesday, said he would gladly accept the closer's role and added he likes the feeling of being on the mound in the ninth.
Opening Day closer Javy Guerra, who was sent down earlier this month to work on his command, will be an option out of the bullpen once the rosters expand Saturday.
Dodgers set for fourth annual ThinkCure Weekend
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will hold the fourth annual ThinkCure Weekend on Sept. 2-3 with a fundraising effort to help cancer research at City of Hope and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.
ThinkCure, the Dodgers' charitable partnership with the two hospitals, has provided $1.84 million in grants to the two facilities.
Among the fundraising activities that will be held during the Dodgers' games against Arizona on Sept. 2 and San Diego on Sept. 3:
Donation appeals by visiting www.thinkcure.org, by texting the word "cure" to 50555 for a $10 donation or by phoning the telethon at 855-424-4056 beginning Sunday at 8 a.m.
An auction of Dodgers memorabilia by the Dodger Dream Foundation to benefit ThinkCure.
A first pitch by leading cancer physicians, researchers and fundraisers.
Check presentations totaling $200,000 from major donors.
A "Kids Take the Field" with children from the two hospitals greeting a Dodger at his position.
A City of Hope Bloodmobile will take blood donations Sunday at Viva Los Dodgers in Parking Lot 6.
Adrian Gonzalez, wearing his new Dodgers uniform, is one of the featured players included in a video of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band highlighting TBS' postseason coverage.
With Springsteen's "Land of Hope and Dreams" as the musical backdrop, the videos include concert footage from the band's current "Wrecking Ball" tour and highlights from this year's MLB season. The videos will air on MLB Network, FOX and MLB.com and on in-stadium video boards leading up to and during the postseason.
The start time for the Sept. 9 Dodgers game in San Francisco has been added as an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast and will start at 5:05 p.m. PT.
The game will be an exclusive national telecast, with the announcing team of Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, Terry Francona and Buster Olney.