Dodgers RHP Billingsley to have Tommy John surgery
Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley will have Tommy John
surgery this week and miss the rest of the season, the latest
setback for the Los Angeles rotation.
”Just unfortunate,” manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday
night’s game against the New York Mets.
Billingsley will have the elbow-ligament transplant operation
Wednesday in Los Angeles. The team said it typically takes about 12
months to return to competition.
Billingsley was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts this season.
He was scheduled to start last Sunday in Baltimore, but instead was
put on the 15-day disabled list because of elbow pain.
The 28-year-old Billingsley joined three other Dodgers starters
already on the disabled list: Zack Greinke (left fractured
clavicle), Chris Capuano (left calf strain) and Ted Lilly (left
Lilly is set to come off the DL and start Wednesday night in New
York, a day after former NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw
pitched against the Mets.
”You’re probably going to need eight-to-10 starters,”
Mattingly said. ”You probably wouldn’t think you’d need them in
the first 20 days.”
Billingsley hurt his elbow last August, didn’t pitch after early
September and decided to try rehabilitation and a platelet-rich
plasma injection instead of major surgery. He had been fine until
feeling pain last Friday in a bullpen session. An MRI showed the
”I think he was pretty confident coming into the spring. He had
a great winter and was able to throw,” he said. ”I think he was
more confident than we were.”
Mattingly said the Dodgers began to echo Billingsley’s optimism
in spring training. Billingsley bruised the index finger on his
right hand during a bunting drill on March 15, slowing his
Billingsley is 81-61 with a 3.65 ERA in eight big league
seasons, making him the longest-tenured Dodgers pitcher.
”I’m sure he’s disappointed,” Mattingly said.
Billingsley’s jersey hung in his locker at Citi Field. The team
said he wasn’t at the ballpark.
Mattingly declined to say whether Dodgers management regretted
not pushing Billingsley to have surgery last year.
”I can’t really speak for the medical department,” he said.
”You can’t make a guy do anything. The fact that it was working
was encouraging to him.”
The Dodgers began the day at 8-10, not quite what they expected
after a major, high-priced overhaul that started late last