Josh Beckett may miss his next scheduled start on Friday due to a sprained right thumb. Beckett injured his thumb not while taking part in practice, but he hurt it when it was caught in a closing clubhouse door 10 days ago. Another strange injury to add to the Dodgers repertoire. Ironically Beckett has not had any setbacks due to his thoracic outlet syndrome, but now he is sidelined with a sore thumb. Beckett has had previous issue with his thumb ligament before.
In his last start on Saturday, Josh Beckett was hammered with five runs over three innings including three homeruns. Beckett had trouble
pitching a bullpen session on Wednesday and only threw fastballs.
Obviously Josh Beckett was not planning on making the Australia trip. Also with all the scheduled off days, the Dodgers wouldn’t technically need a fifth starter until mid-April. Even so, with Beckett nursing his thumb and Zack Greinke not up to speed just yet, the Dodgers may have to dip into their pitching reserves come April if neither is ready to go. I expect Zack Greinke to be able to work his way back to starting form rather quickly, but Josh Beckett is still questionable due to his past nerve issues. Greinke came back from that disastrous and fluky collarbone injury last April and had an impressive season thereafter. I’m not concerned with Greinke at all, but the Dodgers still have that worrisome fifth rotation slot to fill.
Paul Maholm will go to the mound on Thursday for the Dodgers as they take on Cincinnati. Maholm could be next in line for that fifth rotation spot if Beckett is sidelined for too long. Maholm had a good outing last time out. He’s pitched in 2 games (started 1) this Spring with the Dodgers, and has a 1.80 ERA with 4 strikeouts and no walks over 5 innings of work. Maholm reportedly had a great bullpen session recently as well.
Zach Lee was also roughed up by the D-backs after allowing 4 runs on 3 hits over just 2 2/3 innings. Lee also struck out four batters while walking two, so there’s definitely some inconsistencies with the rookie pitcher. Yet he remains in camp while others like Stephen Fife and Matt Magill have already been cut and sent to the minor league side. That says a lot about Lee’s chances to debut with the Dodgers this season. I think we might just see Lee and his blue stirrup socks pitch at Dodger Stadium very soon.
At least the Dodgers have the schedule to their advantage during the early season and won’t need a fifth starter for a while longer. They will have to put someone out there on the fifth day at some point. Beckett, Maholm, Lee, Fife, and Magill may all get starts this season at some point. Seth Rosin, whom I call the dark horse, would have to be kept on the Major League roster the entire season in order for the Dodgers to hold on to the promising right-hander. Rosin unfortunately may lose his spot on the roster if the Dodgers stick with Brandon League.
The saga continues…
You can watch the Thursday 1:05 p.m. PT game on MLB.TV.