Dodgers' Chad Billingsley Says Elbow Feels Fine; LA to Deal A Starter?

Tommy John surgery seems to have become a right of passage for big league pitchers.  Chad Billingsley, veteran Dodger right-hander, took another route when faced with a partially torn elbow ligament last August.
The 28-year-old went on the disabled list, effectively ending his season with five weeks to go.  In October, he threw two simulated games in Arizona, and then shut down again until January.  All this rest came prescribed with a pair of platelet-rich plasma injections.

The Defiance, Ohio native spoke Thursday night with JorgeJarrin on AM570's DodgerTalk, and Billingsley said he feels "absolutely great."   "Tomorrow I'll throw off a mound for the eighth time and I've had no issues," he told Jarrin,”It's just like any other off-season."

This is great news for the suddenly pitching rich Dodgers, who, uncertain as to Billingsleys' prospects, signed two starting pitchers (Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu) to bolster a staff already carrying Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Josh Beckett, Aaron Harang, and returning from injury Ted Lilly.

Billingsley, 81-60 lifetime, has never posted a losing season.  He has managed to pitch 200 innings, however, only once in six full seasons. Chad has pitched behind Kershaw in the rotation in recent years.  The Dodgers have him projected in the fourth slot on their websites' depth chart.

By avoiding the knife, Billingsley is looking to get back on the field much quicker than the 1-year-plus-a-little that seems to have become the normal expectation after the Tommy John procedure.   "Everything's been great," he said. "I've had no issues, no setbacks. Everything is looking good going into Spring Training."

Encouraging words for Dodger fans and for GM's around the league hoping to trade for one of the excess Dodger starters.

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