With Hanley Ramirez returning to the lineup Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers were back on the road to recovery from the injuries that have resulted in players being shuffled in and out of the lineup.
Injuries have a reason that’s prevented the Dodgers from reaching their full potential through the first two months of the season. Tuesday brought mixed news as Carl Crawford sprained his ankle in the eighth inning of the Dodgers win and he is bound for the disabled list.
However, Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider reported Chad Billingsley is set to pitch in a simulated game Thursday:
Billingsley is scheduled to throw 30 pitches in simulated game Thursday, Mattingly said.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) May 27, 2014
Billingsley has yet to appear in game this season. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013 and missed the majority of the season as result. The pitcher hoped to make his return in May but suffered a series of setbacks in April that eventually led to him being placed on the 60-day disabled list.
The former All-Star had a bullpen session cut short when he felt tightness in his right elbow back in April. An MRI later revealed he had tendonitis in said elbow, which led to Billingsley receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection.
Should Billingsley feel comfortable pitching the simulated game, he could be finally be on his way back. While he had hoped to contend for a starting position, the Dodgers have fared well in his absence. Josh Beckett and Dan Haren have both filled the void admirably as the Dodger pitcher remained sidelined.
Given Beckett’s and Haren’s, a spot in the bullpen appears to be the likely destination for Billingsley if he’s able to return this season. Injuries are never a positive for any player and unfortunately for Billingsley, the timing of his latest troubles couldn’t be worse as the Dodgers hold a team option for 2015.
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