Even as the Dodgers continue their pursuit of Zack Greinke and other potential No. 2 starters, they're increasingly confident their in-house option will be a viable one.
Manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday that right-hander Chad Billingsley has resumed his throwing program and very well could be healthy next season. Billingsley had two stints on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow.
He completed his throwing program three weeks after the season ended and has begun a new one, all the while pain free. The Dodgers were concerned earlier that Billingsley could be headed for Tommy John surgery, which would have wiped out his 2013 season and impacted 2014.
"At this point, we feel like we’ve kind of dodged a bullet with him," Mattingly said. "We're optimistic."
Asked if he was counting on Billingsley, Mattingly said, "I think we have to at this point. Obviously, every time you put a plan together, you're also planning for injuries to your starters and regular players. You try to build a team with some depth to protect yourself. We're counting on him, but also knowing he had a pretty serious injury."
If the Dodgers are able to land Greinke and have Billingsley healthy, they could have at least two starting pitchers available to trade this spring, such as Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.