Mar 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Josh Beckett (61) throws the ball against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

So Far, So Good for Josh Beckett


In a very promising Spring debut for Josh Beckett, the right-hander had a great outing on Sunday afternoon at Camelback Ranch. The veteran pitcher is trying to return from thoracic outlet syndrome after undergoing removal of a rib which was pinching on a nerve and causing numbness in his pitching arm and hand.

Mar 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Josh Beckett (61) throws the ball against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers and Padres ended the game on Sunday with a 3-3 tie. Josh Beckett’s performance was very brave indeed. Beckett only allowed 1 hit (a Yonder Alonso single in the first) while striking out 3 and walking none. You couldn’t ask for a better start for Beckett who has said that he feels physically good going into Spring Training. Beckett admitted that he was a bit nervous last night as he prepared mentally for the game.

Orel Hershiser, who by the way is pleasant to listen to on non-Vin game days so far, commented on Beckett’s smooth delivery and easiness on the mound on Sunday. It is quite nice to have the Bulldog behind the mic for the Dodgers now. Orel’s pitching knowledge really adds a great layer to the broadcast alongside Charley Steiner. Orel even brought up old stories about his pitching days as well which is always fun to listen to.

Back to Beckett. The 33-year old wasn’t throwing hard (although with no speed gun at Camelback Ranch it is hard to tell), but he was able to strike out three and induce two groundouts and a flyout against the Friars.

What was so impressive about the Beckett start was that he hadn’t pitched in a live game since May 13, 2013. Beckett was using a mix of

Orel Hershiser was just the right person to lend pitching expertise while watching Josh Beckett’s Spring debut on Sunday. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

pitches including fastballs and breaking balls, and he showed exceptional control over his pitching. I would venture out and guess that his control may have even improved since his surgery since he can now feel the baseball with his fingers better.

The Dodgers back-up Beckett option, Paul Maholm, followed Beckett with his own two scoreless innings in game number five this Sunday.  Maholm didn’t walk anyone, but he didn’t strike anyone out either. He allowed just one hit.

Josh Beckett is no doubt the better pitcher over Maholm when healthy. With a great prognosis and an inspiring first Spring start, Beckett solidified his projected fifth slot for now in the Dodgers rotation. There is still a long way to go for Beckett to work up the innings this Spring, but so far, so good.

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Tags: Josh Beckett Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training 2014

  • Blackspur

    I think Beckett will be the 5th starter and Maholm will be in the bullpen. One thing to note about the bullpen is that League has not pitched in a game. If he doesn’t get into one soon, I believe he will start the season on the DL. This might, just might, leave an opening in the bullpen for Seth Rosin, Jose Dominguez, or Paco Rodriquez, or Withrow. However, if I can peek into management thinking, I think they saw Dominguez, Rodriquez, and Withrow all break down somehow with overuse last year. I think they would prefer to see them all start in the minors. Then they could be brought in fresh as the veterans inevitably break down. With League possibly starting on the DL, that would leave a bullpen spot for Rosin, whom the Dodgers would really like to keep. *By the way, I’d like to apologize for a previous comment that came off wrong. In talking about how the Dodger TV net was not going to be available for anyone but Time-Warner customers (I live in San Pedro and there is no Time-Warner available here) I used the word “Stupid”. I was referring to inconsiderate LASportsnet planning, not your assessment of it. Thanks.

    • Stacie Wheeler

      No worries, thanks for clarifying your comment. I’d love to see Rosin stick around. With this shortened spring schedule, you may be right about League not being ready. At least the Dodgers have plenty of options.