2013 Dodgers in Review #27: SP Chad Billingsley

90topps_chadbillingsley

3.00 ERA / 4.38 FIP 12.0 IP 4.50 K/9 3.75 BB/9 (inc.)

2013 in brief: Made just two April starts before his elbow exploded.

2014 status: Under contract for $12m, though his role and availability remain up in the air.

Previous: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012

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I don’t really want to dwell too much on how it was all but absolutely certain that Chad Billingsley‘s elbow was going to pop, because while it seemed obvious that he was just delaying the inevitable, you understand why he tried to push through it. The team was geared up for a big year, he was entering his age-28 season, and it’s tough to simply say “okay, I’ll skip all of that” even if it seemed like the smart thing to do.

If there was anything surprising about this, it’s how quietly it ended up happening. Billingsley didn’t throw a pitch and then walk off the mound in obvious pain, like we all thought he would. He finished six innings on Jackie Robinson Day by getting future Dodger John Baker to ground into a double play, then he was pinch-hit for by Nick Punto…and that was that.

We didn’t even hear any rumblings about any sort of a problem until six days later in Baltimore, when he was scratched from his start and placed on the disabled list not long before game time. I think you need to remember just how truly awful that week was:

So if we’d said before the season began simply that “Billingsley would go on the disabled list with elbow pain on April 21,” which he did today, I think we’d all have sadly shaken our heads and moved on with our lives, figuring that was inevitable anyway.

But if we’d said “also, that’s going to happen after Zack Greinke broke his collarbone and Aaron Harang was traded and Chris Capuano injured his calf and Ted Lilly is already scheduled and so it falls to Stephen Fife to prevent back-to-back sweeps against the Padres & Orioles, of all teams,” I think we’d all stop and laugh at the cruelty of the universe. I mean, what else can you do?

Three days later, he had surgery, and that’s the last we saw of him this year, other than a few appearances in the dugout where he was sporting a cyborg-like elbow brace.

Reportedly, his recovery from surgery has been “stunning,” though we should know not to take that at face value. While the early date of surgery might mean Billingsley should be back relatively early in 2014, it’s far from clear what his role is going to be. As it stands, the fifth spot in the rotation belongs to Josh Beckett, who is also returning from surgery, and we don’t yet know what other moves the team makes this offseason. It’s not out of the question he starts out in the bullpen, either. The Dodgers hold an option on his 2015 for $14 million (or a $3 million buyout), so he still has much riding on the season.

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Next! More starting pitchers!

176 comments
capnsparrow
capnsparrow

i dont want to make the jump and join the 2nd grade discussion goin on there

Professor Towel
Professor Towel

love the targeted advertising I'm seeing here lately. not only do I love Filipino ladies, but I also love to check their arrest/criminal records online before dating them.

WBBsAs (In Dog We Trust. Un Planeta Sin Gatos)
WBBsAs (In Dog We Trust. Un Planeta Sin Gatos)

I like Billingsley, but would reluctantly give him an F because, realistically, he should have opted for surgery at the end of last season. He would have been back at full strength that much earlier.

RustyH
RustyH

Who is better?  Tanaka or a healthy Billingsley?

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Hows everyone elses day off? Enjoying it? Having a good time with nice weather? All of you can suck it

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Dammit i got into a discussion with dumb on the internet. WHEN WILL YOU LEARN VND. JUST STOP POSTING DAMMIT

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

I thought it was Black friday because it was the first day retailers saw significant profit margins for the holiday season

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler

Wrote the same thing on my bliggity blog last week (about Billingsley deserving an "F").

PagansOedipalComplex
PagansOedipalComplex

@RustyH I think this is a moot question because Billignsley is probably not going to be fully healthy until July 

I like a full year of Tanaka over Beckett to start the year, a non 100% Billingsley for a couple months, and then finally a healthy Billingsley from July to the end of the season

also a healthy Billingsley is still a huge question mark, we didn't know what we would get out of him healthy, what about coming off of tommy john?

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

@RustyH no way to know about Tanaka for certain until he pitches here. If he's less than Billz, he's not worth 150mil it may cost though. 

Tired Math Cat
Tired Math Cat

Would you rather be cramped in a car for 5 hours?

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@^<<**(vẻ đẹp)**>>^ I had a turkey sammich for breakfast and planning a grilled ham and cheese for dinner, I love Thanksgiving leftovers. It's overcast and raining off and on, so I'm going to light the fireplace and watch movies now

RustyH
RustyH

@PagansOedipalComplex @RustyH I don't necessarily think it is moot.  You are talking about committing $60+ million in signing bonus and likely 6 years total contract over $100 million to someone to save 3-4 starts by Beckett. 

RustyH
RustyH

@Disgruntled Goat I guess that is my point.  Is Tanaka worth all the cash, if you have something that is close in ability?

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@SpaceDodger (math cat) Yes?

No, maybe not. Depends on with whom and where you're going.

On the other hand, it's raining and cozy inside listening to the rain.

Definitely all options are better than being at a hospital.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

I wanna send you a picture of my workspace so you can feel sorry for me.

Tired Math Cat
Tired Math Cat

Goat and I: "no way to know for sure yet."

Mike: "Tanaka. Duh."

RustyH
RustyH

@Mike Petriello @LA_Woman @^<<**(vẻ đẹp)**>>^ It started in Philadelphia in the 60's when stores would all have big post Thanksgiving sales.  The downtown area become so congested the news people referred to it as black friday and it caught on.  It's usage continued in part due to as commenters suggested "in the black" is an accounting term for profits.  

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@Mike Petriello @LA_Woman @^<<**(vẻ đẹp)**>>^  Interesting about the origin of the term. But the "narrative" still was true in the bookstores where I worked. So much so that in one of them, the landlord subsidized part of the rent for 11 months, and the bookstore paid him back after Christmas.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

WE ALL STUCK IN THE SYSTEM THEY CALL CAPITALISM. Ice Cube said it