The once loaded Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff has since taken a hit with multiple pitchers going down with an injury throughout Spring Training and into the early portion of the regular season. Zack Greinke was the first to suffer injury, a right calf strain, and he was followed by Josh Beckett (thumb contusion), Dan Haren (tired arm), Hyun-Jin Ryu (toenail) and Clayton Kerhsaw (inflammation in back).
Kershaw was placed on the disabled list and scratched from his scheduled start on Opening Night in San Diego, which resulted in Ryu taking the mound for the U.S. opener. The shuffle in the rotation appeared to suggest Beckett, who was recently named the fifth starter, to pitch in the first series at Dodger Stadium this weekend against the San Francisco Giants.
However, according to Ryan Walton of Valley Bay News, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Beckett will need to make at least one rehab start before he is activated from the disabled list:
Colletti said that Josh Beckett will need at least one rehab start before he is activated from the disabled list. #Dodgers
— Ryan Walton (@RyanWaltonVBN) April 1, 2014
Beckett is coming off an invasive surgery, which removed a rib to alleviate some of the tingling sensation he was feeling in his right hand. Despite being named the fifth starter, the 33-year-old struggled through the majority of his Spring Training starts, allowing five runs and three home runs in eight innings of work. With the off days in the schedule, the Dodgers likely won’t need a fifth starter until the midway point of April, which should buy Beckett some time and not create the sense that he rush himself back.
If Beckett is still not ready when the Dodgers will need to utilize a full five-man rotation, off-season acquisition Paul Maholm would likely fill the void.
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