Right-hander Chad Billingsley tried to work through a partially torn UCL last season, but was shut down early in the season and underwent Tommy John surgery. Colletti gave a status update on the 29-year-old via Bill Plunkett from the Orange County Register:
So we’re probably looking at June with Chad. That’s farther off. Chad, to me, has the chance to be more of a mid-season acquisition.
The Dodgers will take their time with Billingsley but it seems that he will be on track for the usual 12-16 month recovery from the procedure. He made just two starts last season before giving way to the injury. Billingsley’s role in the rotation once he does return is unknown at this point, as the Dodgers will head into Spring Training with a full rotation. However, they headed into last season with eight starting pitchers before being forced to call up minor league pitchers due to injuries.
The Dodgers GM also spoke about the recovery of Josh Beckett:
We’re expecting Josh to have a normal spring training” after surgery last year to remove a rib, relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.
Beckett began the season in the Dodgers’ rotation but was ineffective, going 0-5 in eight starts with a 5.19 ERA before missing the rest of the season. He was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in 2012 and ended the year pitching well for the Dodgers. Colletti mentioned that Beckett has a chance to open the season in the starting rotation. It can be assumed at the moment that if Beckett is healthy, then he will be the team’s fifth starter heading into 2014.
The rotation could add both Beckett and Billingsley next season and that would fill the role of a free agent starting pitcher.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and free agent reliever Jamey Wright agreed to a one-year deal yesterday