The Dodgers made official on Wednesday what has been known for a few days, that pitcher Chad Billingsley's season is over. The club, and the pitcher, hope that he will be able to pitch in 2013.
Billingsley has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but was holding out hope that platelet-rich plasma injections would help that heal and that he might be able to pitch out of the bullpen this season. But on Monday, Dr. Neal ElAttrache told Billingsley that he would be shut down for the remainder of the season, and the Dodgers put him on the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday.
"There was an outside chance I would be able to get back, it wasn't very good, but I was able to hold onto that. The night they told me (I was shut down), I thought, 'Crap'," Billingsley said. "We're in a September race with a chance to make the playoffs. You always want to be a part of it, but now I have to sit and watch."
Billingsley had a second PRP injection on Wednesday, still holding out hope that the tear will heal without surgery. In a sense, the timing of the injury affords the luxury of waiting because whether he has Tommy John surgery now or in a month or two, his 2013 season would be over either way.
"It gives you a chance to heal and not have to sit out more time," Billingsley said.
Billingsley will begin a throwing program in two weeks, and will know more then on whether or not he will need surgery.
"They say it has a chance to heal, and the PRP injection should help it recover. I'm keeping my fingers crossed," Billingsley said.
In the meantime, Billingsley will remain with the team and play cheerleader, though perhaps not too enthusiastically.
"I can't be going too crazy with the high-fives, maybe the left hand," Billingsley jokes.
Billingsley ended his season 10-9 with a 3.55 ERA in 25 starts, including 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his final seven starts.
- Newest Dodgers pitcher Steven Rodriguez, the first 2012 MLB draftee to reach the majors, will be used primarily as a left-handed specialist, per manager Don Mattingly.
- Ted Lilly threw 28 pitches in a simulated game, throwing to Matt Treanor, Luis Cruz, and Adam Kennedy. Lilly said he felt fine and is free of the back pain that scratched his last scheduled minor league rehab appearance. He remains a possibility to join the Dodgers bullpen, perhaps next week if all goes well.
- Scott Elbert, eligible to be activated from the disabled list on September 11, threw off a mound today for the first time since getting placed on the DL, and will do so again on Friday.
Joe Blanton will start the opener in Arizona next Tuesday, and could be available out of the bullpen during the weekend in San Francisco. Mattingly also said he might do a similar thing with Aaron Harang next week, pushing back his start because with off days Thursday and Monday he will need to shuffle the rotation to keep Clayton Kershaw on regular four days rest.
|RF||Venable (L)||LF||Victorino (S)|
|3B||Headley (S)||1B||Gonzalez (L)
|1B||Alonso (L)||RF||Ethier (L)|
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket