The Phillies added to their rebuilding process today by signing pitcher Chad Billingsley to a 1-year, $1.5 million deal, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal reported today. Billingsley will look to hit the restart button on a once-promising career after suffering several major arm injuries that have kept him off the field the past couple years. He last played for the Dodgers in 2012. Due to his extensive injuries, it is unknown how well Billingsley will perform. The most realistic scenario for the Phillies would be putting him in a long-relief, back-end starter role, provided of course that he can get healthy. He could also move up in the rotation if Philadelphia eventually trades Cole Hamels.
Billingsley spent the first six seasons of his career with the Dodgers, starting out as a reiliver/spot starter before being transitioned to the pitching staff full time in 2007. He enjoyed the best year of his career in 2008, finishing 16-10 with a respectable 3.14 ERA. He struggled, however, after a strong start in 2009 that sent him to the All-Star game and never regained his 2008 form. In late 2012 he suffered a ligament tear that sidelined him for the rest of the season. An attempt to stave off Tommy John Surgery failed, and Billingsley was forced to undergo the procedure after making just two starts in 2013. He attempted a comeback in 2014, but was shut down again after tearing a tendon in his elbow. Even so, he remained in seemingly good spirits and traveled with the Dodgers during 2014. On June 18th of that year, he was one of the first players out the mound at Dodger Stadium to congradulate close friend Clayton Kershaw on his no-hitter. Billingsley's wife, Tiffany, was sitting next to Ellen Kershaw in the stands during the game and was the first person to embrace her after the game's final out.
A personal note: I met Billingsley at a signing in 2010 and found him to be one of the nicest pro baseball players I've met. He genuinely smiled and talked with the fans there and posed for quite a few pictures with each group. Even if he isn't able to do much for the Phillies on the field, I think he'll be a great influence on a clubhouse going through a tough rebuilding phase.
Baseball is,was, and always will be the greatest game in the world
Jake Wesley is now the only writer for MLB_NL_AL.com all of these articles are ether based on facts and pieces of his opinion.