Following up on earlier news that Josh Beckett announced he’ll be ready for the start of the season, he threw a successful bullpen session Monday at Camelback Ranch. He threw about 30 pitches and not once did he pause to tend to his fingers. These are promising signs that the numbing, which sidelined Beckett for a majority of last season, has ceased.
Beckett’s TOS (Thoracic Outlet Surgery) from last season was meant to solve these numbing issues and yesterday was another step forward in his recovery. With the recent acquisition of left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm, Beckett’s impressive session leaves more questions as to how the fifth spot of the rotation will pan out.
According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, manager Don Mattingly commented on the decisions to be made regarding Beckett and Maholm:
It’s just if he’s healthy, Mattingly said. Josh throws the ball good. He’s been a quality pitcher for a long time and he still has good stuff. How he bounces back, we’ll see. We’ve had nothing but positive reports all winter. Josh has never been in the ‘pen [but neither has Maholm]. Obviously, it’s a competitive situation. We’re not handing anything out for anybody. If he’s healthy, we’ll see.
Although Mattingly is showing his faith in Beckett, the organization will expect these two to remain competitive during spring training and into the start of the season. Gurnick would also add Beckett’s comments on having more time to get ready for this season than people may think:
I’m far advanced for February, Beckett said. I’m probably not going to start Opening Day in Australia. They’re paying a guy [Clayton Kershaw] a lot of money to do that. Not all of us are getting ready for those days [in Australia]. Some of us have a little more time than it appears we do.
While 2013 was a disaster for the 33-year-old right-hander, hopefully his recovery from surgery continues to stay on track and he’ll be ready for the start of the North American portion of the regular season.
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