Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Elbow surgery for Chad Billingsley
By Mark Saxon
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that Chad Billingsley will undergo Tommy John surgery Wednesday, costing the pitcher the rest of this season and likely a good chunk of 2014.
Billingsley had the option of undergoing elbow surgery last September, but elected for rehabilitation and received an injection of platelet-rich plasma at the time. The right-hander was on the disabled list for elbow inflammation three times in the past year.
Billingsley was pain-free throughout spring training and got through two starts this season before the pain returned during a bullpen session April 19. An MRI confirmed a partially torn ligament.
Billingsley, 28, is 81-61 with a 3.65 ERA in 219 career appearances, including 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA this year. The former All-Star is in the second year of a three-year, $35 million contract extension he signed in 2011.
The Dodgers broke camp with eight veteran starting pitchers, but are now down to four after injuries to Billingsley, Zack Greinke and Chris Capuano and the trade of Aaron Harang.
Steven Fife got the first chance at replacing Billingsley in the Dodgers rotation, but prospect Mat Magill also had his Monday night outing limited to four innings under the orders of the team's front office. Top pitching prospect Zach Lee, who is 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA at Double-A Chattanooga, is another long-term possibility.
The surgery will be performed by team orthopedist Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles.