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

shoulder surgery).

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