Will Billingsley Make it Through the Season? (opinion poll)

On August 24, 2012, Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley left the game against the Miami Marlins in the fourth inning with pain in his pitching elbow, pain that was later diagnosed as a partial tear in the ulnar collateral ligament. Rather than undergoing Tommy John surgery at that time, which undoubtedly would have cost him the entire 2013 season, Billingsley opted instead for a platelet-rich injection hoping that the tear would heal on its own.

Chad Billingsley walks off the field with head trainer Sue Falsone after feeling pain in his right elbow on August 24, 2012. It would be his final appearance of the season. (Photo credit - Mark J. Terrill)

Chad Billingsley walks off the field with head trainer Sue Falsone after feeling pain in his right elbow on August 24, 2012. It would be Chad’s final appearance of the season. (Photo credit – Mark J. Terrill)

As of today, Saturday, February 2, 2013, with pitchers and catchers due to report for spring training in exactly ten days, Billingsley absolutely insists that he is pain free, 100% healthy and eager to get started.

“Everything’s been great,” said the 28-year-old Defiance, Ohio native. “I’ve had no issues, no setbacks. Everything is looking good going into Spring Training.”

The obvious problem is that if Billingsley is not 100% healed and if he does need Tommy John surgery at any point during the 2013 season, his delaying the procedure last year will not only cause him to miss the remainder of the 2013 season, but it will most likely cause him to miss part or perhaps all of the 2014 season as well.

I can assure you that there isn’t a single Dodger fan out there who isn’t hoping and praying that Chad Billingsley is healthy and that he will make it through the 2013 season without requiring surgery. Unfortunately, there probably isn’t a Dodger fan out there who thinks that he will – or is there?

What do you think?

Will Chad Billingsley make it through the 2013 season without needing Tommy John surgery?

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9 Responses to “Will Billingsley Make it Through the Season? (opinion poll)”

  1. Bluenose Dodger says:

    I think it is really defying the odds to expect the tear to heal. The success rate with that is very small. I expect that at some point Chad needs TJ surgery and that point is not in the distant future.

    I would hope against against all hope that Chad is healthy and makes it through the season. He is a key cog in the pitching wheel. My worst fear is that he breaks down midway through the season. Maybe an extra starter will mean a six man rotation with the sixth starter giving Chad an extra shift off now and then.

    As pointed out the delay in the surgery may well cost two seasons.

  2. CRANBROOK MIKE says:

    Good point Harold. I say the guy don’t make it past June. But dearly hope I’m wrong

  3. ebbetsfld says:

    I voted “no” but I’m praying I’m wrong!

  4. Ron Cervenka says:

    I, too, pray that he makes it; but it would (in my opinion and as Harold noted) be defying the odds.

    Chad is a very hard worker and there is no one who deserves a great season more than he does; but in my heart, I fear the worst with this.

    The Dodgers definitely would have missed Chad in 2013 had he done the surgery last September, but the further into the 2013 season he goes before he has the surgery, the more of the 2014 season he will miss as well.

    By the way – the point of this post was not to cast any negativity about Chad or the Dodgers but rather to help us prepare for what I believe is inevitable. I sincerely hope that I have never been more wrong about anything than this – well, except maybe for Clayton’s hip, that is.

  5. KSparkuhl says:

    It doesn’t matter what I think. Chad’s arm will tell us, one way or the other. I hope he can stay healthy, but history tells us it might be otherwise.

  6. Truebluewill says:

    This has been a burning question that I have been thinking about all winter and I can only reiterate what everyone else has just said. My gut feeling is even though Billingsley is saying he’s “feeling great” now, with the strain pitching puts on the elbow come July or August he could blow it out. I voted no, but like Dick, I’m praying I’m wrong. This is why I think the Dodgers have so many bona fide major league starters still on the roster. I count 8 including Ryu.

  7. OldBrooklynFan says:

    Although he says he feels fine, I think it’s too soon to tell. After a vigorous ST maybe he’ll be out of the woods. Even than it’s hard to tell if he’ll remain healthy. Since it’s said that most pitchers would’ve had the TJ surgery, I guess only time will tell.

  8. MFGRREP says:

    I hope he at least airs it all out during ST so if it is going to go it’ll happen before the season starts !!

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