Well, that was quick. Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley will undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday and will be out for the rest of the season. The team placed Billingsley on the DL on Sunday with pain in his right elbow, and the surgery was definitely a possibility.
This just beats home the point that instead of attempting to rehab an elbow injury that may require Tommy John, a pitcher should just suck it up and get the surgery. Billingsley was initially placed on the DL last July with an inflammed elbow and he threw just 57 innings following the initial DL stint. Billingsley wasn't the same pitcher following his return, striking out 34 hitters and walking 16 in those 57 innings, a substantial drop from his typical strikeout and walk rates.
Billingsley will make $12 million next season, the final year of a three year, $35 million deal signed prior to the 2011 season. The Dodgers also have a $14 million club option with a $3 million buyout for 2015. Billingsley likely won't end up being ready for Opening Day next season, putting Los Angeles in a difficult place to start next year.
As for this season, things are quickly spiraling down the drain with Billingsley, Zack Greinke, and Chris Capuano all hurt. Ted Lilly will rejoin the Dodgers rotation on Friday against the Brewers, but he only threw 48 2/3 innings last season after shoulder surgery in May ended his year. The schedule for Dodgers is only going to be getting more difficult after they leave New York and head back to Los Angeles, so they're really going to need Lilly and the recently recalled Stephen Fife to step up and hold the fort down until Greinke and Capuano are healthy.