Brandon Beachy, one of three candidates for the final spot in the Dodgers rotation, sounded disgusted with himself after surrendering six runs and failing to record an out in the third inning of an 11-8 loss to Arizona on Friday. Beachy flashed only occasional command of his changeup and curveball, and his fastball could not handle the rest of the load.
"I felt like I did a better job of getting ahead today, but I just couldn't make the quality pitch," Beachy said. "I just threw non-competitive pitch after non-competitive pitch."
After a 10-pitch first inning, Beachy required 40 in the second. Throwing errors by Justin Turner and Enrique Hernandez did not help matters. He gave up three runs, then gave up a single and two walks before leaving the game.
"I felt like I threw some good pitches in that second inning," Beachy said. "I just couldn't make the one to get me out of it."
Mike Bolsinger remains the favorite to be the Dodgers' fifth starter, with Beachy and Zach Lee also in the discussion. Unlike Bolsinger and Lee, Beachy does not have a spot on the 40-man roster. The Dodgers could remedy this by moving either Brett Anderson or Hyun-Jin Ryu to the 60-day disabled list. But the club entered this spring willing to pay Beachy $1.5 million to pitch for triple-A Oklahoma City.
Beachy underwent his first elbow reconstruction in 2012, midway through a season when he posted a 2.00 ERA in 13 starts for Atlanta. He required a revision of the procedure in 2014. Beachy blew out his elbow again that spring and formed a clique with his fellow rehabbing Braves.
Like Beachy, Kris Medlen had just undergone his second Tommy John surgery. So had Peter Moylan. Jonny Venters was on his third surgery.
"We all worked together to address some things," Medlen said. "We always talked about mechanics and all that."
A year later, Medlen landed in Kansas City and Beachy joined the Dodgers. On the day in July the Royals placed Medlen on their active roster, Beachy made his second start. He gave up four runs in three innings against Atlanta, and did not pitch again for the Dodgers in 2015.
But Beachy will not rely on his injury history as an explanation for his performance.
"That's a crutch, and I can't use that," he said. "I'm here to compete for a job and play baseball, not to try to be a story about perseverance."
The Dodgers avoided another serious injury when an X-ray of Andre Ethier's bruised left leg came back negative. Ethier rode off in a golf cart after fouling a ball off himself in the fourth inning Friday.
"It got him pretty good," Manager Dave Roberts said. "He wears a little [shin] guard, and it got him about that, unfortunately. That's a sensitive, tender area. So hopefully after a day or two, with treatment, he'll be back out there."
Roberts has yet to officially declare Ethier as his leadoff hitter against right-handed pitchers, but Ethier appears headed for that role.