Chad Billingsley’s 2013 season was washed away after two games with the right-hander suffering an elbow injury that ultimately required Tommy John surgery. Billingsley initially delayed the surgery by attempting to rehab his elbow.
After numerous setbacks during his recovery this season, the latest which was a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow, Billingsley opted for another surgery rather than a rehab process that wouldn’t guarantee a successful recovery.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Billingsley had the procedure done Tuesday and is expected to be out eight months:
Chad Billingsley underwent elbow surgery Tuesday. Operation performed by #DrNealElAttrache. Expected to be sidelined for 8 months.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) June 27, 2014
The injury and subsequent surgery have cost Billingsley a second consecutive season, though missing 2014 may be more damaging to his career that sitting out last season. The Los Angeles Dodgers hold a team option on Billingsley’s contract next season for $14 million.
Considering Billingsley, who will turn 30 in July, essentially would have not taken the mound in two seasons, the Dodgers are more likely to buy him out $3 million.
Billingsley was drafted by the Dodgers in the first round of the 2003 draft, made his debut in 2006 and won at least 10 games from 2007-2012.
The Dodgers’ plan of pairing the right-hander at the top of the pitching staff with Clayton Kershaw never quite manifested and it would appear 2014 may be their last as teammates.
As for Billingsley’s career, in discussing his teammates bout with injuries, Kershaw recently shared his belief a return to the mound isn’t out of the question for Billingsley.
Not having Billingsley as an option to add to the starting rotation or bring of the bullpen may lead to the Dodgers looking into acquiring a pitcher. Particularly when considering Dan Haren’s struggles and the other contingency plan, Paul Maholm, also not panning out.
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