Amidst growing rumors that something was up that caused Nathan Eovaldi to be suddenly and inexplicably pulled after pitching only one (good) inning at Double-A Chattanooga last Thursday, one rumor seems to have solved the mystery. Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley reportedly felt soreness in his groin after his last start in Milwaukee, forcing the Dodgers to take the precautionary measure of pulling Eovaldi in the event that he might be needed to fill in for Billingsley for his next start in Houston. However, after throwing a bullpen session in Houston on Friday, Billingsley told Dodger pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and manager Don Mattingly that he felt fine and started Sunday’s game against the Astros. In that game Billingsley lasted only 3.1 innings allowing 9 runs (5 earned) on 4 hits, 4 walks, a run-scoring wild pitch, while striking out only 2. Two of the hits were home runs and one of those a grand slam. To say that Bills wasn’t himself would be a huge understatement and it certainly suggests that perhaps he isn’t fine after all. Nonetheless, this accounts for why Eovaldi was hastily removed from last Thursday’s Double-A game.
Although the Dodgers will most likely wait until the day of Billingsley’s next start before making any formal announcement on this, it appears that Chad might be headed for the DL and Eovaldi inserted into his spot in the rotation. However, Billingsley’s next scheduled start is Friday, April 27 but the Dodgers have a scheduled day off on Thursday, April 26 which could work to Chad’s advantage, as he could conceivably skip his next start without affecting the rest of the rotation and possibly avoid the DL entirely.
Keep in mind that this is all rumor and speculation, but it did solve the Eovaldi mystery.