Tommy John surgery seems to have become a right of passage for big league
pitchers. Chad Billingsley, veteran Dodger right-hander, took another
route when faced with a partially torn elbow ligament last August.
The 28-year-old went on the disabled list, effectively ending his season with
five weeks to go. In October, he threw two simulated games in Arizona, and then shut
down again until January. All this rest came prescribed with a pair of
platelet-rich plasma injections.
The Defiance, Ohio native spoke Thursday night with JorgeJarrin on AM570's DodgerTalk, and Billingsley said he feels
"absolutely great." "Tomorrow I'll throw off a mound for
the eighth time and I've had no issues," he told Jarrin,”It's just like
any other off-season."
This is great news for the suddenly pitching rich Dodgers, who, uncertain as
to Billingsleys' prospects, signed two starting pitchers (Zack Greinke and
Hyun-jin Ryu) to bolster a staff already carrying Clayton Kershaw, Chris
Capuano, Josh Beckett, Aaron Harang, and returning from injury Ted Lilly.
Billingsley, 81-60 lifetime, has never posted a losing season. He has
managed to pitch 200 innings, however, only once in six full seasons. Chad has
pitched behind Kershaw in the rotation in recent years. The Dodgers have
him projected in the fourth slot on their websites' depth chart.
By avoiding the knife, Billingsley is looking to get back on the field much
quicker than the 1-year-plus-a-little that seems to have become the normal expectation
after the Tommy John procedure. "Everything's been great," he
said. "I've had no issues, no setbacks. Everything is looking good going
into Spring Training."
Encouraging words for Dodger fans and for GM's around the league looking trading
for one of the excess Dodger starters.
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