UPDATE: Wednesday, September 5 at 9:40 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
Chad Billingsley's season is all but over, as the Dodgers have reportedly moved him from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. CBS Sports' Dayn Perry reports, "it's been determined that he has a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament," which could require Tommy John surgery.
Needless to say, this is a big blow to the Dodgers, who could use Billingsley's starting services for the stretch run.
UPDATE: Tuesday, September 4 at 2:30 p.m. ET by Adam Wells
While the Dodgers still await word on whether or not he will even be able to pitch again this season. Chad Billingsley's future, at least for 2012, could take him to the bullpen.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, the team is mulling over what to do with Billingsley if/when he is able to return from the DL.
“It kind of moves in that direction,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “There is instructional league going on and things like that. You can try and build up that way. At the end of the season you would think a guy would be fairly built up.
“It just kind of gets tougher and tougher. The longer a guy can’t throw, the longer it takes to come back.”
The Dodgers are 4.5 games behind San Francisco in the NL West, and one-half game behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot.
---------------END OF UPDATE----------------
UPDATE: Friday, August 31 at 11:49 a.m. ET by Jessica Isner: Chad Billingsley is resorting to any means necessary to make sure he doesn't have to miss too much time due to an elbow injury. According to HardBallTalk's Aaron Gleeman, that led the righty to a platelet-rich plasma injection in the elbow on Thursday.
According to Gleeman, the team insists that Billingsley is suffering from inflammation, but MLB.com's Ken Gurnick is reporting that injections like the one Billingsley received are normally reserved for "tears in tendons and ligaments."
If this injection doesn't help, according to Gurnick, the hurler is likely to be shut down.
--------------END OF UPDATE------------------
Chad Billingsley has had his best year with the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Unfortunately an elbow problem has left the remainder of his season very much in doubt.
After leaving his August 24 START against Miami after just 3.1 innings, Billingsley was put on the disabled list with swelling in his elbow.
Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten told fans at an event on Thursday that he is worried Billingsley might not pitch again in 2012, though there is a caveat to that (via Los Angeles Times):
Stan Kasten, the Dodgers' president and chief executive officer, said Thursday night that he fears Billingsley is done for the year...
In an interview later, Kasten said his comments were made out of concern and "not based on medical evidence." He said the Dodgers' search for pitching was not necessarily motivated by Billingsley's injury.
For the optimists out there, the fact that Kasten said his fears are "not based on medical evidence" is slightly comforting.
However, we have been down this road so many times before with pitchers. Elbow issues usually don't just show up and go away, particularly when there is swelling involved.
Even though he is not the pitcher he once was, Josh Beckett could turn out to be a huge addition if Billingsley can't come back this year.
The Dodgers have the ace at the top in Clayton Kershaw and a few starters—Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang—having surprise seasons. They need all the depth in the rotation they can get right now.
We will keep you updated on the situation as more information becomes available, so check back to this page for the latest news on Billingsley's status.