It’s official, Chad Billingsley will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will be performing the surgery at Kerlan-Jobe in Los Angeles. Honestly, I’m pissed. How does this situation even happen? The coaches and even Billingsley himself took no responsibility. I’m sure you remember when Billingsley was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow last year. He opted to try to rehab the injury with plasma injections rather than having surgery, which will now cost him the entire 2013 season. Billingsley will probably have to miss the first couple months of 2014 as well.
Here comes the I told you so…back on February 1st I wrote “Today, Ken Gurnick provided an update on Billingsley, who is reportedly feeling “absolutely great.” Everything has progressed as planned with no setbacks. Updating yesterday’s post, it’s quite possible that Billingsley makes an appearance during Spring Training. My expectations will not be very high for Billingsley in 2013. I don’t see how you can fully recover from a partially torn elbow ligament without having Tommy John surgery. I fully expect Billingsley to start out well but miss some time, perhaps even having to shut it down and have surgery at some point.”
Billingsley, I am sure, is feeling like an idiot right now, and he should, because he is.
Billingsley opened this season on the disabled list, but it was for a bruised right index finger he sustained while bunting in Spring Training. He will finish the 2013 season with 1-0 record with a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings over two starts.
Billingsley is scheduled to earn $12MM next year, then there is a $14 million club option for 2015 or a $3 million buyout. Top all that off with the fact Billingsley now has zero trade value, and will until he proves he is healthy. The Dodgers would be wise to move on and now count on him moving forward.
Stephen Fife started Sunday in place of Billingsley against the Orioles and allowed three runs in the first inning, however, he bounced back and made it through 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and a walk. He will likely get the next couple of starts until Chris Capuano comes off of the DL with his strained calf issue. Of course, Zack Greinke remains out indefinitely with his broken collarbone, and won’t see him until the middle of June at the earliest.