Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley began a rehab assignment with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, the next step on a long road back from the Tommy John surgery he underwent on April 25, 2013. It may be a while yet before he returns to the major leagues.
Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that Billingsley has suffered a partial tear of the flexor tendon. MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that Billingsley is expected to announce tomorrow if he will elect to undergo another surgical procedure to fix the injury.
Billingsley, 29, made only two starts in early April last season before landing on the DL. He allowed four runs with six strikeouts and five walks in 12 innings. The Dodgers have a $14 million option on Billingsley with a $3 million buyout for the 2015 season.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: