When the Dodgers signed Erisbel Arruebarrena, they could have put Chad Billingsley on the 60-day disabled list and still had him ready to be active in mid-May.
That they chose instead to designate Justin Sellers for assignment was widely interpreted as a positive sign about how close Billingsley is to returning to action.
From Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.:
… “We’re not prepared yet to put a timetable exceeding 60 days for Chad,” said general manager Ned Colletti.
Billingsley threw another bullpen session on Saturday, and said his arm still feels as good as it did coming in to camp. He is still limited to throwing no faster than 85 mph, but those restrictions will likely be relaxed soon and Billingsley will be allowed to throw curve balls as early as next week. …
… He plans to begin a minor league rehab assignment once the season opens in early April. Even if he needs five minor league starts, that earmarks a major league return for Billingsley in early May, which explains why he wasn’t placed on the 60-day DL. …
When he does return, Billingsley would theoretically enter a starting pitcher mix that includes veterans Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren, Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm, as well as the members of an emerging prospect class. (Maholm, by the way, threw a bullpen session without discomfort today, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com).
In the meantime, now entering DFA limbo is Sellers, last year’s surprise Opening Day shortstop. Over the next 10 days, he could be traded, claimed on waivers or clear waivers and eventually return to the Dodger organization.
More Mattingly on breaking DFA news to Sellers: “It was tough on him. … It was not an easy conversation.”
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) February 22, 2014