The Los Angeles Dodgers rotation has undoubtedly faced some unfortunate injuries to begin the season. Aside from Zack Greinke’s calf strain and Dan Haren’s tired arm this spring, Clayton Kershaw was placed on the disabled list to begin the season with back inflammation, and Josh Beckett’s bruised thumb also earned him a spot on the 15-day DL. The Dodgers ace could be out for close to a month, and Beckett will be needed back sooner rather than later as the team will not be able to survive with a four-man rotation as they approach their busy mid-April schedule.
Starting pitching has undeniably been spread a little thin in their first five games seeing as Hyun-Jin Ryu is already making his third start of the season in Friday’s home opener against the Giants. The organization needed to hear some good news in regards to their starting pitching, and today, it seems they have a beacon of hope.
According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, Chad Billinglsey, who has been recovering from Tommy John since April of 2013, could be returning to the rotation as soon as May:
Billingsley has five rehab starts planned. At that pace he could return in early May.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 4, 2014
Although Billingsley’s return doesn’t help the immediate pitching situation, his arm will definitely be needed as soon as it can considering the handful of injuries that have been plaguing the rotation. Josh Beckett has earned the rotation’s fifth spot which also leaves Paul Maholm available for some insurance, but after this next month month of building up his pitch count, Billingsley has the real potential to be a difference maker when he returns.
The 29-year-old right-hander was solid in his only two starts of 2013 and is 81-61 over his entire career with a 3.65 ERA in eight seasons with the Dodgers. The organization is looking forward to seeing how well Billingsley will be able to bounce back from his Tommy John surgery.
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