Billingsley to Pitch in Minors on Thursday

Chad BillingsleyChad Billingsley hopes to clear another hurdle in his recovery Thursday.

He is scheduled to pitch a Minor League game at Carpenter Complex. Billingsley, 30, is recovering from a pair of surgeries on his right elbow, which have limited him to just 12 innings in the big leagues the previous two seasons.

Billingsley is expected to throw 30 to 35 pitches, about two innings of work.

“Then do it again,” Billingsley said.

The Phillies have indicated Billingsley could make a Grapefruit League appearance before the team heads to Philadelphia on April 2, but he said he is not focused on that.

“I’m not thinking that far ahead,” he said. “When you’ve been going through two years of rehab, you don’t look beyond the next week or the next start or the next whatever. You just kind of approach it one start at a time and put all your focus on doing your rehab and your treatment to get to the next step. I’m just getting ready for Thursday.”

Billingsley’s successful return to the big leagues is worth following. First, the Phillies need starting pitching help. Second, if Billingsley comes back and pitches successfully he could be a valuable trade chip come July.

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