In his 14th season, Josh Beckett has been a pleasant surprise for the Los Angeles Dodgers as the backend of their rotation.
The right-hander battled multiple injuries throughout Spring Training and began the year on the disabled list. Beckett didn’t earn a decision until his fifth start, which was a loss, but has since put together numerous quality starts.
Beckett earned a win in his July 6 outing, then was placed on the DL with a hip impingement and missed his final start before the All-Star break. With the resetting of the rotation, Beckett’s next scheduled start is Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
The 34-year-old threw a bullpen session Saturday and was pleased with the results, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News Group:
I felt like my mechanics were a lot sharper than I was expecting them to be, and the actual feel of the bullpen, also the way my body felt, was better than I thought.”
Drew Butera, who caught the bullpen session, had high praise for the veteran pitcher:
That was as clean as I’ve seen him in a while.”
Butera was of course behind the plate for Beckett’s no-hitter back in May. Prior to being placed on the DL, manager Don Mattingly said Beckett was dealing with soreness, which was an issue the team monitored on a consistent basis.
Beckett’s ability to remain healthy moving forward will be key for the Dodgers particularly when considering Dan Haren’s ongoing struggles. Paul Maholm filled in for Beckett and gave the Dodgers a solid start, but he too hasn’t fared all that well as a starter this season.
The Dodgers could hit the trade market to add a starting pitcher, though some of the bigger names — Cole Hamels and David Price — aren’t likely to wind up in Los Angeles, according to general manager Ned Colletti.
Dodgers May Get Bullpen Help From Boston Red Sox