Daily Dodger in Review: Short and painful for Josh Beckett
JOSH BECKETT, 33, starting pitcher
Final 2013 stats: 0-5, 5.19 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, .289 opponents batting average, 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 43 1/3 innings of eight starts.
Contract status: Last year of four-year deal at $17 million.
The good: Gave up only one run and struck out nine in 8 1/3 innings on April 14 at Arizona, though he lost 1-0. That was pretty much it.
The bad: Never really got it going before succumbing to a nerve issue that caused numbness in his pitching hand. He ultimately underwent surgery that included the removal of his top right rib.
What’s next: The great unknown awaits. The Dodgers said they expected Beckett to be out approximately five months after his July surgery, and available to start spring training.
But the same doctor who performed the surgery on Beckett, did it on Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter the previous July, and he missed all of 2013 (after appearing in two 2012 postseason games).
The take: The Dodgers have to figure anything they get out of Beckett next season is a bonus. It’s impossible to count on him returning to form, which doesn’t mean he won’t. There’s just not a lot of history to go on.
Beckett said he started some light throwing just seven weeks after the surgery, so he was optimistic he would be ready for spring training. His last strong season was in 2011, when he went 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA. He turns 34 in May.
If the Dodgers knew Beckett and Chad Billingsley (Tommy John surgery) could return to All-Star form, they would be set with an impressive rotation. Instead, they will probably look to add at least one starting pitcher this off-season.
Since it’s the last year of his contract, Beckett at least figures to be motivated in camp.
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