Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley is optimistic about making his first scheduled start in the upcoming regular season after throwing seven curveballs during Monday’s bullpen session, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.
Billingsley suffered a bruised index finger after he was hit on his pitching hand during a bunting drill over a week ago. X-rays were negative, but he was initially skeptical about making his first regular season start on April 2.
The 28-year-old right-hander was satisfied with the quality of the curveballs he threw during Monday’s bullpen session.
“I was happy with them,” confirmed Billingsley.
However, Billingsley was cautious, saying there was still a possibility that the nail could fall off on the injured finger. If that occurs, his first scheduled start will be delayed and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers’ offseason acquisition from Korea, would supplant him.
The positive news is that Billingsley’s injury is minor compared to the elbow issue that shut him down for the rest of the 2012 season after he was diagnosed with an ulnar collateral ligament tear on September 5. To treat the injury, he received platelet-rich plasma injections rather than Tommy John surgery, which could have kept him out of the 2013 season.
Billingsley’s last regular season outing was on August 24.
Ben Hernandez Jr.
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