Chad Billingsley was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in August of last season, but opted for rehab and platelet-rich plasma injections instead of Tommy John surgery.
He was able to get healthy enough to make two starts this season and actually posted a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings, but he was placed on the disabled list with more elbow problems over the weekend and the Dodgers just announced that Billingsley will now undergo Tommy John surgery.
He’ll miss the remainder of this season and could be a question mark for the beginning of 2014, when the 28-year-old right-hander will be making $12 million in the final guaranteed season of his contract.
Between injuries and trades it’s amazing how quickly the Dodgers’ vaunted rotation depth disappeared.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.