June 23, 2012 |
Don Mattingly is right, of course. Chad Billingsley's overall numbers do look pretty decent when compared to everyone else. The trouble is, they don't compare very well to the early Billingsley, and certainly not to the Billingsley most were anticipating would have arrived by now. When Billingsley first showed up at age 21, a former No. 1 draft pick, he appeared a future front-line starter, if not a potential ace. In his first three...
February 25, 2013 |
Remember, now, it's not how you start that counts. This Chad Billingsley experiment got off to what you might consider a shaky start Monday, when the first four hitters he faced went double, double, home run, single. At that point Billingsley had to be happy Manager Don Mattingly didn't go to the mound and signal for Dr. Frank Jobe on the spot. But the right-hander settled down, allowing the Dodgers to exhale and keep their fingers crossed that the gamble not to operate on his partially torn elbow ligament will pay dividends.
April 21, 2013 |
Dodgers' optimists everywhere, how do you like Sunday's challenge? How does anyone hear the Chad Billingsley news and not think the absolute worst? Visualize surgery and his losing the season, and parts of next season? The sword of Damocles, indeed. Everyone knew from the instant Billingsley elected to try to rehab his elbow instead of undergoing Tommy John surgery that this was a possibility. The pessimists called it inevitable. Billingsley made it through two starts before the elbow barked again.
April 23, 2013 |
That felt inevitable, but no less damning. Chad Billingsley tried to buck the odds, tried to do it his way, but in the end all he did was delay a season-ending surgery. The Dodgers announced Tuesday that Billingsley would undergo Tommy John elbow surgery, be lost for the rest of the year and probably be out until at least April of next season. Billingsley was shut down last August with a partially torn elbow ligament, the type of injury that typically leads to Tommy John surgery.
September 5, 2012 |
That's officially it for Chad Billingsley's 2012 season. The Dodgers placed the right-hander on the 60-day disabled list before Wednesday's game and called up left-handed reliever Steven Rodriguez, taken in the second round of June's draft. Billingsley was throwing some of the best baseball of his career when the Dodgers placed him on the 15-day disabled list for the second time with a sore elbow. He was 6-0 with a 1.80 earned-run average in seven games before going on the DL and last pitched Aug. 24. The Dodgers had been downgrading his status by the day prior to the announcement.
May 16, 2012 |
This is an old story, just dusted off every season and presented anew. Chad Billingsley is working on this or that -- working on his mechanics, working on his approach, on being more aggressive, on being more consistent. This is Billingsley's seventh major-league season and he somehow remains a work in progress, his perceived potential somehow still out of reach. That's not that he's completely horrible, just that he's completely mediocre. In the last four seasons, he is a combined 37-36 with a 3.98 earned-run average and a 1.35 WHIP.
March 7, 2013 |
Ah, and so it goes. The constant watch. The crossing of fingers and hopeful talk. Or as Vin Scully put it, “the sword of Damocles” that hangs over Chad Billingsley and his elbow with each outing. Billingsley elected not to have reconstructive Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in the off-season, instead attempting to let the minor ligament tear heal as well as possible and strengthen his arm and elbow. There is risk involved, but Billingsley has reported no setbacks in his bid to return to form.
April 24, 2009 |
As his players hurriedly packed to leave town, Dodgers Manager Joe Torre sat in his clubhouse office Thursday night and said simply: "How about that game the kid pitched tonight? Whew." That kid was Chad Billingsley and that game was his latest gem, which beat the Houston Astros, 2-0, enabling the Dodgers to salvage one game of their three-game series at Minute Maid Park.
September 24, 2009 |
The man behind the plate appeared to be more bothered by the pitch than the man who threw it. "Just that one pitch," Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said, shaking his head. "If you take away that one pitch, it's a gem." The pitch -- a breaking ball that didn't break -- was hit into the Dodgers' bullpen by Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman's three-run home run in the sixth inning accounted for the only hit charged to Billingsley in the Dodgers' 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
September 25, 2009 |
If Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw are ready for October, the Dodgers should be too. . . . This is only the fourth time that the Dodgers and Angels have each won as many as 90 games in the same season, but it's the third time it has happened since 2001. . . . A Freeway World Series, of course, would be a first. . . . Fifty years ago next Tuesday, Gil Hodges and the Dodgers clinched their first National League pennant in Los Angeles with a 12-inning victory over the Milwaukee Braves at the Coliseum.