Chad Billingsley has been struggling this year.  Of late, he..."/> Chad Billingsley has been struggling this year.  Of late, he..."/>

Dodgers Place Chad Billingsley On the 15-Day DL

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Chad Billingsley has been struggling this year.  Of late, he has been trying to overcome elbow inflammation

in his pitching arm.  He wasn’t able to get past it, and now the Dodgers have placed the righty on the 15-day DL. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Stephen Fife, who was called up from Triple-A in a corresponding move will start in Billingsley’s slot.

Billingsley is 4-9 this year with a 4.30 ERA.  He has a career 3.73 ERA.  However, he has posted ERA’s over 4.00 in two out of his last three years.  He was once considered one of the up-and-coming pitching prospects in the Dodgers organization.  He was an All-Star in 2009, but he slid back in the second half posting a 5.20 ERA after the break.

The Dodgers are 2.5 games back of the Giants in the National League West, and they are fading.  In their last ten, Los Angeles is just 4-6.  They’ve also lost three in a row.  Billingsley’s injury won’t help, but if he can come back healthy and return to the pitcher he’s shown flashes of being, the Dodgers can still make a run towards the postseason.

Beyond the immediate ramifications of Billingsley’s injury, the Dodgers may be forced to finally pull the trigger on some trade moves they’ve been eyeing.  They are interested in pitching (for obvious reasons) and hitting (again, for obvious reasons).  With the Billingsley injury, the Dodgers don’t have much time to make a decision on getting an extra starter.  They can’t afford to fall much further back.

Billingsley is in the middle of a three-year, $35 million contract.  He becomes a free agent after the end of the 2014 season.  The Dodgers hold a team option for 2015.  If they exercise that option, they will owe Billingsley an additional $14 million.  If they don’t exercise the option, they will have to pay a $3 million buyout.

For more on the Dodgers, be sure to check out Lasorda’s Lair