Fighting his way back from Thoracic Outlet Surgery last season, which was conducted to alleviate reoccurring numbness in his right hand, Josh Beckett was named the the fifth starter in the rotation by Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. At the time, Beckett beat out off-season signee Paul Maholm and returning pitchers Stephen Fife and Zach Lee, among others.
Beckett’s spring training then took a negative turn when a door closed on his right thumb, which limited the various pitches he could throw. The 33-year-old right hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list and general manager Ned Colletti said he would need to complete at least one rehab start prior to joining the team. Beckett made a start with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on April 4, leaving the game with an apparent injury that was later described as just some swelling in his ankle. Following a successful bullpen session on Sunday, Mattingly said Beckett is on track to make his regular season debut on Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers, according to the Dodgers’ Twitter account:
Don Mattingly: We're not ready to announce it, but (Josh Beckett) looks like our guy for tomorrow. #Dodgers
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 8, 2014
Along with adding Beckett to the rotation, Mattingly also discussed shuffling the pitching rotation, according to Ryan Walton of the Valley Bay News:
Mattingly talking about shuffling the #Dodgers rotation after Friday would mean skipping the Maholm spot and moving Zack Greinke to Saturday
— Ryan Walton (@RyanWaltonVBN) April 8, 2014
Maholm has appeared in two games for the Dodgers this season, a brief 0.1 inning pitched against the Arizona Diamondbacks and a rough start against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. While Maholm was signed with the idea he would be competing for the final spot in the rotation, his contributions this season will more than likely come from the bullpen. However, how the rotation takes shape with Clayton Kershaw still on the disabled list is also dependent on Beckett’s ability to pitch well and remain healthy.
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