The injury woes keep coming for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the team announced Tuesday that right-hander Chad Billingsley will undergo Tommy John Surgery. The procedure will take place sometime today and he’ll likely need at least twelve months to fully recover.
Billingsley’s elbow troubles first appeared last July. The team hoped that some extra rest and rehab would be enough to prevent the need for a serious medical procedure. He’d receive a platelet-rich plasma injection in both August and September, but Billingsley would fail to make a start after late August. Concerns lingered into the offseason regarding the elbow but ultimately Billingsley came to the team’s Spring Training camp ready to go. He made just two starts before the pain resurfaced.
One year remains on Billingsley’s current contract, valued at $14 Million for the 2014 season. The team holds an option for 2015 (again valued at $14 Million) but it appears more likely that they’ll choose to pay a $3 Million buyout, allowing him to become a free agent instead.
Los Angeles entered the season with more starting pitching depth than most teams, considering the team was forced to push Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang into bullpen roles. Now, with Billingsley lost for the remainder of the year, Zack Greinke on the shelf with a broken collarbone, Capuano dealing with a strained calf, and Harang pitching for the Seattle Mariners the team’s depth is truly being tested. Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Stephen Fife, and Ted Lilly will make up the team’s rotation moving forward. Another injury may necessitate an outside acquisition of some kind.