The Los Angeles Dodgers signed right-handed pitcher Chad Billingsley to a three-year contract extension with a club option for a fourth year, keeping him in a Dodger uniform through at least the 2014 season. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
“Through his professional career Chad has shown that he is very capable of winning games and taking the ball,” said Colletti. “His won-loss record speaks to that as well as his innings pitched totals.”
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Billingsley, 26, has posted a winning record in each of his five Major League seasons and all eight of his professional campaigns. As a Los Angeles Dodger, the right-hander is 59-41 (.590) with a 3.55 ERA in 160 career games (131 starts). His winning percentage since his 2006 debut ranks 12th in the NL over that time and his 52 victories since 2007 are tied for eighth among current NL hurlers. Since his first full season as a starter in 2008, Billingsley has averaged 196.0 innings per season and his 588.2 frames over that time ranks 13th in the NL.
His 59 career victories are more than any other big league pitcher from the 2003 draft class by a wide margin. Billingsley led the Dodgers in wins in 2008 and 2009 while ranking second in 2010 and tied for second in 2007. His 52 wins over the last four years are more than any Dodger.
During the last three seasons, Billingsley’s 551 strikeouts rank sixth in the National League. In 2008, he became the first Dodger to fan 200 batters (career-high 201) in a season since Chan Ho Park in 2001. He has struck out a career-high 13 batters in a game on two different occasions (July 13, 2008 at Florida and Sept. 26, 2010 at Arizona).
In 2009, Billingsley was selected by the players and coaches to his first All-Star team after going 9-4 with a 3.38 ERA in the first half. He went on to record a career-high 16 wins and a career-best 3.14 ERA in that season.
Last year, Billingsley posted the longest scoreless innings streak of his career, blanking the opposition over 24.2 innings from July 21-Aug. 5. He also did not allow a home run in 2010 from May 31-Aug. 28, a span of 92.0 innings, which was the longest in the Majors last season.
After tossing 2.0 scoreless innings of relief in the 2006 Division Series, Billingsley went on to win his very first postseason start, allowing just one run over 6.2 innings at Wrigley Field in Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS. In all, the Ohio native has appeared in six postseason contests.
Billingsley has remained involved in the Dodgers’ charitable efforts through the Dodgers Dream Foundation and the team’s official charity, ThinkCure! In 2008, Billingsley began the “Chad’s Champs” community program in which he hosts 10 youngsters from Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA at a Dodger game during every homestand. As part of the program, the kids receive tickets, food and a meet-and-greet with Billingsley before the game. In 2010, Billingsley was nominated by his teammates for the Dodgers’ Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which is won by those whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement.
Billingsley was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the first round (24th overall) of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and went on to win the Dodgers’ Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award in both 2004 and 2005. According to Baseball America, he was the club’s top minor league prospect entering the 2006 season and made his Major League debut that season on June 15 against the Padres at PETCO Park.
A native of Defiance, OH, where he is a member of the Defiance High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Billingsley and his wife, Tiffany, make their offseason home in Robesonia, PA.