Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Billingsley Lost For Season

Yet another blow to the Dodgers came this afternoon, when the Dodgers announced that Chad Billingsley would undergo the Tommy John surgery many believed he needed late last year. Billingsley will go under the knife tomorrow and will be out for 12 months.

NEW YORK -- Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Wednesday and will be sidelined for 12 months, the club announced Tuesday.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the operation at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

Billingsley was a late scratch Sunday with lingering elbow pain he felt after a Friday bullpen session and was then placed on the 15-day disabled list.

He missed the last two months of last season with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, but instead of surgery, Billingsley opted for several platelet-rich plasma injections and rest. He resumed throwing last October, hit 93 mph in a simulated game last November and didn't miss any time during Spring Training.

"I think he was pretty confident coming into Spring Training having had a good winter and been able to throw," said manager Don Mattingly. "Then when he didn't have any problem between starts, we got confident. I'm sure he's disappointed. We are, too. It's not missing a start. It's a year."

But management held its breath all along, hoping that Billingsley's elbow would hold up longer than the two starts he made this month.

"You can't make a guy do anything," said Mattingly. "The fact it seemed like it was working was energizing for him."

That said, Billingsley's uncertain health was a key factor in the club's successful pursuit of free agents Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

The Dodgers went into Spring Training with eight highly paid starting pitchers, then dealt Aaron Harang to the Rockies on April 6 for Ramon Hernandez because they were convinced Billingsley was healthy.

Now with Billingsley joining Greinke (broken collarbone) and Chris Capuano (pulled calf muscle) on the sidelines, Stephen Fife was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque to take Billingsley's spot in the rotation. Ted Lilly will be activated from the disabled list Wednesday night in what had been Greinke's slot.

"We're still in good order," said Mattingly. "We'll end up with five guys that are accomplished starters [Clayton Kershaw, Ryu, Josh Beckett, Lilly and Capuano] and Greinke on top of that. Nobody wants to hear our complaints. A lot of teams would like to have five accomplished Major League starters."

Take notes, biology students: platelet-rich plasma is not a panacea. Or even a remedy, in this case.

If there's any hope in this, it's that (a) Billingsley is finally getting the attention that his poor elbow needs, and (b) Mattingly isn't belly-aching about it. Just move on and play the cards we're dealt. Even if the hand here we've been dealt seems pretty shitty.


Fred's Brim said...

Dumbass - shoulda got that shit fixed last season

Fred's Brim said...

Seriously, who is advising him on stuff like this? Is this on Ned or Chad's management or Chad himself?