Billingsley's progress became increasingly important following this week's news that Cliff Lee is almost certainly lost for the season because of a torn tendon in his left elbow. Two other Phillies starters also have been banged up recently.
Right-hander Aaron Harang missed two of his first three Grapefruit League starts because of back problems. He started Thursday night against the Yankees. Right-hander Jerome Williams missed his last start because of a "tweaked" right hamstring. He is scheduled to start Sunday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.