LOS ANGELES -- With back-to-back starts that totaled eight innings, Chad Billingsley has Dodgers fans in a panic, but not so much his bosses.
After overseeing Billingsley's Thursday bullpen session, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said Billingsley's outing against the D-backs on Tuesday (four runs on eight hits in four-plus innings) was better than it looked.
"I thought the ball was coming out better," said Honeycutt. "The [fifth] inning, two ground balls go a foot here or there and he's out of it [Billingsley instead allowed five consecutive hits]. That's just the way it was.
"Mechanically, when his arm gets a little late, his ball runs back over the plate and that isn't good. He's still competing. It might have looked bad, but it comes back to fastball command. His curveball is still good, and his slider, he needs to know when to use it, and sometimes he shakes off and I'm not sure he trusts it as much as we trust it."
Billingsley's next start is Sunday against the Cardinals.
Hairston could return from DL next week
LOS ANGELES -- Of the Dodgers' four position players on the disabled list, utility man Jerry Hairston is likely to return first, possibly as early as the middle of next week.
Hairston, who strained his left hamstring running out an infield single on May 6, increased the intensity of his running on Friday after resuming all other phases of baseball activity earlier. The last hurdle will be running the bases this weekend.
"Everything feels good," said Hairston. "I hope to be playing in games in a few days."
Manager Don Mattingly said if Hairston's progress continues, he will play one or two games in a Minor League rehab assignment next week while the Dodgers are in Arizona playing the D-backs.
Hairston is eligible to be activated on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, as Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera continue their recoveries from left hamstring injuries, third baseman Juan Uribe is scheduled to have his injured left wrist examined by a hand specialist on Saturday to determine if he should continue conservative treatment or something more aggressive like surgery is necessary.
Uribe has been troubled by two areas of discomfort, one being arthritic change, and a more worrisome spot on the top of the wrist.
Dodgers to hold FanFest on Saturday
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will hold their inaugural FanFest presented by State Farm on Saturday. Dodger Stadium auto gates open at 11:45 a.m. PT, and the event runs from noon to 7:10 p.m.
Matt Kemp, manager Don Mattingly and nearly the entire team and coaching staff will make appearances, and broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin will participate, as will general manager Ned Colletti.
Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda will sign autographs and address the crowd. Former Dodgers Fernando Valenzuela, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Steve Yeager, Steve Sax, Tommy Davis and Wes Parker among others are also scheduled to sign autographs.
All players are subject to change. Fans are asked to limit autographs to one item per person in order for as many fans to receive an autograph as possible. Entry is included in the price of a game ticket for that day. For more information, please visit Dodgers.com/FanFest. Fans are also encouraged to download and pre-sign the waiver form needed for entry.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.