Josh BeckettSpring training bullpen sessions have begun and the Los Angeles Dodgers will begin sorting out their last spot in the rotation for the 2014 season.

On Saturday, they signed left-hander Paul Maholm to a one-year deal to compete for that final spot and to give them some depth at a position that was challenged by injuries last season. Before the Maholm signing, right-hander Josh Beckett was projected to be the team’s fifth starter, but there are questions surrounding his recovery from TOS (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome) prompted the team to pick up some insurance.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Beckett is healthier than what may have been expected:

Beckett started eight games last season before going on the disabled list for a groin injury. He then began to experience tingling and numbness in his hand and was diagnosed with TOS. In July, Beckett then underwent surgery to remove a rib that would relieve pressure on a nerve and stop the tingling. He’s been slotted in the last spot of the rotation; however, he’ll have to win the job in the spring from a group that includes Maholm, prospect Zach Lee, Stephen Fife and Matt Magill. If Beckett doesn’t win the job outright, he could be jettisoned to the bullpen or even possibly traded.

According to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA, the right-hander had some nice words about the organization:

Beckett also went on to add that the franchise treated him well last season and that he’s willing to do whatever for the organization this season. Many aren’t sure what to expect from the 33-year-old as he struggled in those eight starts last season, going 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA. The ineffectiveness could have been from dealing with the sensations in his hand and Beckett could pitch like he did after coming over from the Boston Red Sox in 2012, when he went 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA.

The spring will determine a lot for the back end of the Dodgers’ rotation and could prove to be one of the better storylines of the preseason.

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About The Author

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

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