As has been widely reported all over the 'net, Chad Billinglsey's recent medical examination on his sore right throwing elbow did not go well. He will have Tommy John Surgery to repair his torn ligament, and it is likely to happen as soon as tomorrow.
This is a huge blow to an already battered Dodgers starting rotation. After performing a little makeover over the Winter that included stockpiling starters as a safe-gap, we suddenly find that sometimes you just can't prepare enough. Who would've thought that having 8 potential starting pitchers in Spring Training wouldn't be enough?
Over the past month, we've seen the Dodgers lose Greinke to a broken collarbone, Chris Capuano to a strained calf muscle that is related to the ensuing scuffle that followed Greinke's break, and now Billinglsey. Furthermore, Ted Lilly will be returning to the rotation after spending the first part of the season on a rehab assignment, so there is no guarantee he will provide any solution.
Of note, we may have seen the last of Chad as an effective starting pitcher in Dodger Blue. His currently contract expires at the end of 2014 season, and an option for 2015 exist. If recent trends hold true, then Billingsley will not be back on the mound for the Dodgers for another year, and you can count on another year after that before he is truly back to his old self. So, you can say goodbye to 2013 and hello to a subpar 2014. For the 2015 season the team will have to decide whether to exercise their team option for $14Mil, or buy him out for $3Mil. Of course, there is always the chance they do the latter and resign him for much less.
This has been a very taxing year to be a Dodger fan. Below are Billingsley's career stats, via Baseball Reference.
Pic Credit Above: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013
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