Dodgers @ Mets April 23, 2013: Smell You Later, Chad Billingsley

citifieldDoes finding out that your longest tenured pitcher needs Tommy John surgery hurt any less when absolutely everyone expected it to happen? Hang on, sources within baseball are confirming that: yes, it still hurts.

Yes, as we’ve all long expected, Chad Billingsley is going to go under the knife tomorrow, costing him the remainder of 2013 and likely the first portion of 2014 as well. Recovery time is usually around 12 months.

You don’t have to look too hard to find examples of people saying that the team and player were foolish for not having done this last August when the problem first came up, because the timing here is basically the worst case scenario. As I said in January when looking at the atrocious history of pitchers attempting to work through similar elbow injuries…

Dodgers
Mets
LF
Crawford
SS
Tejada
2B
M.Ellis
2B
Murphy
CF
Kemp
3B
Wright
1B
Gonzalez
C
Buck
3B
Hairston
RF
Byrd
RF
Ethier
LF
Duda
C
A.Ellis
1B
Turner
SS
Sellers
CF
Cowgill
P
Kershaw
P
Niese

Taken at face value, that’s incredibly promising, but it’s also an enormous risk. If Billingsley had gone under the knife in late 2012, he’d likely have missed all of the upcoming season but (probably) have been ready to go in 2014. By waiting, if the elbow goes out in spring training or during the season, not only is 2013 gone, but 2014 is as well.

He won’t miss all of 2014, but he’ll be limited, and while there’s incredibly valid arguments to be made that we’re neither doctors nor privy to Billingsley’s medical records… this seemed like an idea that was never going to work. It didn’t, at the worst possible time, and so now this is a rotation that has both Ted Lilly and Stephen Fife in it.

On the plus side, we don’t have to listen to another season’s worth of people arguing about which vital organ Billingsley may be missing — unless, of course, it’s whatever tendon they use to replace the one that snapped in his elbow — and his inevitable move to the 60-day disabled list opens up a 40-man roster spot, should that be needed at some point. The good news here is that the success rate for pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery is pretty good, though it remains to be seen if he’ll be be able to crack a Dodger rotation of Clayton Kershaw / Zack Greinke / Cliff Lee / time-traveling 1965 Sandy Koufax after management inevitably panics and overreacts to the slow start.

With all that, there’s still a game tonight in chilly New York, and Kershaw is on the mound against Jonathon Niese. Jerry Hairston gets another start ahead of Luis Cruz, and I like every part of that.

814 comments
Bluebloodla92
Bluebloodla92

I respect mellis, hes never our worst starter out of 8. 700 ops plus good defense ill take it for 2B. We just need to shore up left side INF, and hanley cant come any sooner.... Aghhhhh

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

Now to settle in with a beverage and wait for the Angles bullpen to blow it

Cold Pumpkin (loves "willow tree")
Cold Pumpkin (loves "willow tree")

Hooray. Dodgers win. Since I have something to do during game time, I could just check the results. Plus Knicks won 2 straight game in play off. MHAHAHHAHAHAHA.

KMT59
KMT59

Like that Multi-hit Matty is coming around...I see a hot May for him

moneynow27
moneynow27

So is there any chance Hanley returns to play 3B, and motorcycle man, clearly the best SS, stays put for the year?

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

Ronald Belisario just knows how to win

JoeyE
JoeyE

nice interview for Mellis

said he always thought 100 is a cool number for homers for someone who isnt 6'4 and plays middle infield lol

GooberUSC
GooberUSC

Look at that mountain, look at those trees, look at that bum over there man he's down on his knees...

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

In one week, I'll be at the happiest place on earth and hoping for a Hanley return

JoeyE
JoeyE

7 runs, CK sucked but still only gave up 2, Mellis,  7 runs, 2 in a row, no Cruz, 3 hits for Sellers. nice finish on the day we lose Bills

KMT59
KMT59

Oh most important MEllis 4-5 with 2 jacks and SellBlock with 3 hits

HiiiiEVERYBODY (HiiiiEVERYBODY)
HiiiiEVERYBODY (HiiiiEVERYBODY)

woooooooooooooooo!


duhh duhh duh. dooo dooo dee dee dee doo doo duhh duhh duh.


that's the opening bass line to "i love l.a." in case you didn't know. 


we won.

nudibranch
nudibranch

Love to see the Dodgers win by a wide margin.  Let's keep it up!

GooberUSC
GooberUSC

Rollin' down, Imperial Highway... Big nasty redhead at my side...

KMT59
KMT59

Ball Game...Belli with the win...1 game below .500 and maybe 3.5 back

JoeyE
JoeyE

josh wall aint bad. he always gets weird chances to pitch

plaza234 (Charter Member of Trade Kemp bandwagon)
plaza234 (Charter Member of Trade Kemp bandwagon)

7 runs for 2 games in a row! Nice.  Plus, looks like the Dodgers are seriously looking at Magill or maybe even Zach Lee for Billingsley's spot. Thank you Mark Ellis. Good day of Dodgers baseball today.

JoeyE
JoeyE

every time i see Wall im like, "oh yeah he's on the team"

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

@plaza234 Magill for sure Z Lee no... not til late sept call-up and probably could land on the rotation for 2014 seeing as Billz will still be out

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

@plaza234 I just hope we get Lilly on one of his little hot streaks, like the one that got him his insane contract in the first place

Dang88
Dang88

Yeah Tolleson is the one that's gonna hit Quentin