NL West Notes: Withrow, Black, Billingsley, Romak, Rockies

Yet another name can be added to the long list of Tommy John victims this season, as Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times tweets that Dodgers right-hander Chris Withrow has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and Tommy John is, unsurprisingly, the recommended treatment. The 25-year-old Withrow had a 2.95 ERA in 21 1/3 innings for the Dodgers this season, averaging 11.8 K/9 but also an unsightly 7.6 BB/9. His loss only further depletes a Dodger bullpen that entered Thursday with just the 22nd-ranked bullpen ERA in the Majors at 4.03. More from the NL West…

  • MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom looks at what a stabilizing force manager Bud Black has been on the Padres since assuming the role in 2007. Bloom asked Black if his team being in a constant state of rebuilding or recovering from overwhelming injuries is taxing, to which Black replied: It makes it tough in the short term. You hope you have some players who do find their way and become successful Major Leaguers. I mean, all of us want to win whether you’re in New York, L.A., Detroit or Texas.” As Bloom notes, Black has been a constant through three ownership groups, three GMs and multiple club presidents.
  • Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley is on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery and took a positive step in his recovery by throwing a 30-pitch simulated game today, writes MLB.com’s Earl Bloom. Manager Don Mattingly said Billingsley could either have one more simulated game or head right to a minor league rehab assignment, depending on how his arm reacts to today’s work. Billingsley’s rehab is worth keeping an eye on, as he has a $14MM club option ($3MM buyout) and could be an interesting free agent if that option isn’t exercised.
  • It’s been a long road to the Majors for Dodgers outfielder Jamie Romak, writes Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. Romak, who is in his 12th minor league season since being drafted in the eighth round by the Braves back in 2003, was called up to replace Carl Crawford on the active roster when Crawford hit the DL. He called the promotion a “dream come true.”
  • Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post wrote earlier in the week that the Rockies need to take action by promoting some of their highly touted Double-A Tulsa right-handers. Saunders wrote that the “Tulsa Trio” — Eddie Butler, Jon Gray and Daniel Winkler — are all near-MLB-ready and should be leveraged to give the Rox a shot at their first NL West title. He opines that the offense is good enough to win the division if the team can improve its 4.09 rotation ERA. Manager Walt Weiss told Saunders that when it comes to Butler “the development is behind him,” and he doesn’t have much to prove in the minor leagues.

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