The Los Angeles Dodgers went out this past off-season and tried to shore up their starting rotation in the hopes to build one of the best rotations in baseball. With Clayton Kershaw leading the way and signing of former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, Chad Billingsley was projected to slide in and provide the back-end of the rotation with needed depth. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan.
Regular Season Grade: Incomplete
The Dodgers have been waiting for Billingsley to become the pitcher he showed back in 2008 when he won 16 games with a 3.14 ERA and 201 strikeouts, but has struggled ever since.
With Kershaw, Greinke and the signing of Hyun-Jin Ryu to take pressure off Billingsley, the Dodgers hoped he would get it together and become the pitcher they envisioned, but after two starts, he was lost for the season with a torn ligament in his elbow that required Tommy John surgery.
In September of last season, Billingsley was shutdown with a torn UCL ligament in his right elbow and instead of opting for surgery, he went the rehab route as he wanted to be ready for the start of the season. However, Billingsley realized he couldn’t tough it out anymore and had season-ending elbow surgery back in April.
Playoff Grade: Incomplete
The Dodgers pitching was top notch this postseason for the most part, but with Billingsley, who knows how their regular season and postseason fortunes would’ve turned out.
Obviously, Billingsley didn’t pitch in the playoffs as he was lost for the entire season, but his injury was the first of many injuries for the 2013 Dodger season.
Overall Grade: Incomplete
2013 was a lost season for Billingsley, who was on a career roll down the stretch in 2012 and it’s unfortunate that he had such a serious injury. Billingsley is optimistic about the 2014 season and began his throwing program in September. Until then, his main focus is to come back from the injury healthy and ready. With his status up-in-the-air for the start of the season, expect the Dodgers to be active in the starting pitcher market over the winter.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!