Think about it. What other team could afford to employ a guy making close to $16 million as a fifth starter, with no shortage of experienced understudies behind him?
In his first major league start in 11 months, Beckett lasted four innings, gave up five runs and got no decision in the Dodgers' 7-6 loss to the
He was long gone by the time
On Tuesday, Martinez hit a two-out, ninth-inning single off Jansen to tie the score; the Dodgers won that game in 10 innings.
Turnabout was fair play for Martinez. He is the Tigers' designated hitter, but there is no DH in
Beckett had his finest moment at bat. He drove in his first run in five years, with a two-strike suicide squeeze.
Two years ago, when the Dodgers and their new owners went hard after
Beckett gave the Dodgers seven starts at the end of the 2012 season, after the trade, and eight more last year before surgery.
"I know Josh has had his ups and downs the last few years, but he was one of the elite pitchers in the game just a few years ago," Dodgers pitcher
If not, the Dodgers have a comfortable margin for error.
It is not just that the Dodgers have a starting rotation headed by
Kershaw started one game before hitting the disabled list. Beckett sat out the first nine games.
"We're pretty deep," Haren said. "For the injuries we've had and not to have to delve into triple-A is pretty remarkable."
The Dodgers take nothing for granted. They had eight veteran starters when they opened camp last year, and they had dipped into their minor-league reserve by the end of April.
Still, the Dodgers are so flush with resources that their minor-league pitcher of the year, Zach Lee, did not get a chance to crack the rotation.
In many other organizations, he might have gotten the chance to win a spot in the back end of the rotation — or even come to camp with that spot in hand.
"I don't want to say he's not ready, but that's the beauty," Mattingly said. "Guys need to develop. He hasn't pitched in triple-A. It wasn't like he was 15-1 or something at double-A."
Mattingly said the revitalization of the Dodgers' farm system eventually should ease the expensive reliance on veteran pitchers. But Billingsley has lived through the lean years — did someone say bankruptcy? — and he likes what he sees.
"It's a different atmosphere, all throughout the city," Billingsley said. "The organization has really changed a lot, for the better."