Despite the surplus of pitching the Dodgers had in spring training, management found themselves searching for a third starter which led to the acquisition of Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins.
The Dodgers had Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett and Ted Lilly go down with injuries and they traded Aaron Harang before solidifying their rotation. While Beckett has started his recovery process, Lilly was designated assignment, but today the first news about Billingsley finally surfaced.
According to Austin Laymance of Dodgers.com, Billingsley has started his road back to the big leagues:
Chad Billingsley (Tommy John surgery) has started a throwing program. #dodgers
— Austin Laymance (@JALaymance) September 12, 2013
Billingsley tried to put off surgery after he was shutdown last August, but after just two starts this season, surgery was inevitable. It isn’t known what type of program he’ll be on, but hopefully he’ll be back by April next season.
With the success that Nolasco has had and his impending free agency, the Dodgers could look to sign the LA product as an insurance policy in case Billingsley isn’t back by the start of next season. Chris Capuano likely won’t be brought back as the Dodgers could presumably have six starters for five slots next season.
Before his shut down last season, Billingsley was on one of the best streaks of his career as he went 6-0 in his final seven starts before he was done for the season.
While he hasn’t been with the team, Billingsley has been rehabbing on his own as the Dodgers have put their rotation back together after suffering early season injuries.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about the impending signing of Alexander Guerrero!