Despite an assortment of injuries, the Los Angeles Dodgers are riding a three-game winning streak and are sitting in first place in the National League West. Ahead of their matchup with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, ace of the pitching staff Clayton Kershaw was able to complete another bullpen session, this time with more velocity.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Chad Billingsley’s bullpen work didn’t go as well, reports Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:
Chad Billingsley had his bullpen cut short at 20 pitches. Heading back to LA for dye-MRI tomorrow on elbow. Felt tightness/discomfort today
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) April 15, 2014
Billingsley is recovering from Tommy John surgery and looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season where he managed to start just two games before being shut down for the year. The latest news that the right-hander was unable to complete a normal bullpen session is on the heels of Billingsley leaving a scheduled rehab start due to feeling a “sensation” in his elbow. At the time of Billingsley leaving the game, the situation was not believed to be serious and an examination in the following days revealed it was scar tissue breaking, a normal occurrence for someone who has undergone the elbow surgery.
Prior to the setback, Billingsley was scheduled to make five rehab starts, which would place him on track to join the Dodgers as early as May. With Billingsley potentially out of the picture, the Dodgers may rely on one of or both, Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm. Both pitchers are currently needed with Kershaw still on the mend, but upon his return, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly could decide to settle on either pitcher for the final spot in the rotation and move the other to the bullpen.
For Billingsley, the 2014 season may be another filled with frustration at inopportune time as the Dodgers hold a team option on his contract for 2015.
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