Josh Beckett is scheduled to undergo surgery the week of July 8 that is expected to sideline him for the remainder of the season.
Beckett was limited to eight largely unproductive starts this season because of numbness in his pitching hand. He will have his top rib removed to alleviate pressure on a compressed nerve that is believed to be the source of his problems.
The procedure will be performed by Dr. Greg Pearl in Dallas. Pearl did a similar operation last July on Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals, who was able to recover in time to pitch in the postseason. However, Carpenter has not pitched this season.
Beckett, who was put on the disabled list May 15 said last month that he feared he might never pitch again.
“Any time something like that happens to your arm or you start losing feeling and stuff … you think about it for sure,” Beckett said.
The Dodgers estimate that Beckett will be sidelined for three to five months. Although they don’t expect him to pitch again this season, they anticipate he will be ready for the start of spring training. Beckett will be in the final year of his contract in 2014 and will draw a $15.75-million salary.
The decision for Beckett to have surgery was made after he felt tingling in his fingers while throwing on flat ground Friday. Beckett resumed his throwing program in the last week after not picking up a baseball for a month.
Dodgers promote fireballer
As Jose Dominguez talked about realizing his lifelong dream of reaching the major leaguers, Scott Van Slyke walked by and said, “You can write that he throws 103.”
Dominguez has, in fact, been clocked at 103 mph. The 22-year-old right-hander was called up to the major leagues for the first time Saturday, replacing Peter Moylan on the roster. Moylan was optioned to triple-A Albuquerque.
Dominguez’s height is listed as 6 feet, leading Manager Don Mattingly to compare him to Pedro Martinez, another hard-throwing pitcher from the Dominican Republic with a modest build.
Dominguez has developed a slider and changeup in recent years and has added some oomph on his fastball. De Jon Watson, the Dodgers’ farm director, credited minor league coaches Hector Berrios, Rafael Chaves, Glenn Dishman and Kremlin Martinez for aiding Dominguez in his development.
“Last year, I was throwing 97, 98,” Dominguez said in Spanish. “Occasionally, I’d touch 100. This year, I’ve been more consistent.”
The increased velocity has led to improved results. Dominguez didn’t give up any runs in eight appearances for Albuquerque. Earlier in the season, he posted 2.60 earned-run average in 14 appearances for double-A Chattanooga.
But Dominguez comes to the Dodgers with considerable baggage.
He started this season serving a 25-game suspension for an unspecified violation of baseball’s drug policy. The suspension was the second of his career. In September 2009, he was hit with a 50-game ban for testing positive for steroids.
“I’d prefer not to talk about that,” Dominguez said.
But Dominguez insists he is a changed person.
“It helped me understand that I don’t need anything,” he said. “What I have is something that God gave me.”
Dominguez said he is the cousin of Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Colome and the nephew of former major league pitcher Jesus Colome.