Chad Billingsley’s season ends; just-drafted Steven Rodriguez up

That’s officially it for Chad Billingsley’s 2012 season.

The Dodgers placed the right-hander on the 60-day disabled list before Wednesday’s game and called up left-handed reliever Steven Rodriguez, taken in the second round of June’s draft.

Billingsley was throwing some of the best baseball of his career when the Dodgers placed him on the 15-day disabled list for the second time with a sore elbow. He was 6-0 with a 1.80 earned-run average in seven games before going on the DL and last pitched Aug. 24.

The Dodgers had been downgrading his status by the day prior to the announcement. Billingsley finishes the season 10-9 with a 3.55 ERA, still his sixth consecutive season of 10 or more victories.


He’d had one platelet-rich plasma injection to try to promote healing last week, and talked hopefully of returning this season after a second. Manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday that surgery for Billingsley was not being considered “at this moment.”

Meanwhile, Rodriguez has made a meteoric rise. Hey, sometimes these kids don’t know enough to be intimidated.

Rodriguez, 21, was drafted out of the University of Florida and began his professional career with Class A Great Lakes, where he earned two saves in six appearances and a quick promotion to double-A Chattanooga. In 15 games for the Lookouts, he had three saves, a 1.32 ERA and struck out 22 in 13 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers have been in need of a second left-handed reliever since Scott Elbert was placed on the DL on July 27. Rodriguez joins Randy Choate as lefties in the bullpen.


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