Heading into Friday’s game with the Chicago Cubs, there was some doubt as to whether or not Josh Beckett would be able to make his scheduled start. On an off day between his first two spring starts, it was revealed that Beckett sprained his thumb, which affected the right-hander in his start against the Seattle Mariners.
According to the Los Angeles Dodgers Twitter account, Beckett exited his third start due to a right thumb contusion:
Update from the #Dodgers Clubhouse: Josh Beckett has been diagnosed with a right thumb contusion.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 14, 2014
Without prior knowledge of the thumb injury, Beckett’s pitch selection appeared to be limited against the Mariners. Unable, or unwilling to throw off-speed pitches contributed to the right-hander looking average, which the Mariners capitalized on by pushing across five runs on six hits. Prior to being pulled on Friday, Beckett resembled the results from his first spring start and managed to throw a curve ball.
Beckett’s injury is particularly concerning when examining the current landscape of the Dodgers’ pitching staff. Beckett, who’s coming off thoracic surgery in the off-season, not only appeared to be on his way to earning a starting spot in the rotation, but his importance elevated with Dan Haren recently admitting to arm fatigue. Zack Greinke is progressing with his recovery from a calf strain, but he too needs to work off some rust. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Beckett should have ample time to rest his thumb as he is not slated to start in the Opening Series and he would then have at least another week until he was needed in the regular season.
Should Beckett and Haren be limited due to their respective injuries, it would suddenly thrust Paul Maholm into the spotlight. Maholm, who signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers in February, struggled in his last start against the Cincinnati Reds.
UPDATE: Ken Gurnick from Dodgers.com says Beckett will get right thumb checked out again
Josh Beckett said he will probably have his right thumb re-examined. Said it was no worse or better than 10 days ago when he was injured.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 14, 2014
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