Josh Beckett did not look good Tuesday night, but it was still a surprise when he was taken out after just 60 pitches through three innings. He was losing 4-0 but the Dodgers would normally keep him in longer, at least to save the bullpen from working for six innings.
In the third inning, on a play to cover first base, Beckett's groin gave him some discomfort and may be the reason for his early removal. Even before the play at first he never looked game-ready, especially with the laborious pace at which he was throwing.
During the post-game show, Dodger’s radio announcer Charlie Steiner commented about how slowly Beckett was working and wondered if there could be a bigger problem brewing.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly did not provide any specifics but said Beckett has been handling a series of small injuries. He downplayed it to "little stuff" in different areas. Beckett acknowledged there may be some things wrong, but insisted that he is healthy enough to pitch.
Beckett has been difficult to evaluate this year. He is giving up a lot of walks, but still managing to strike batters out. In his last three starts he has only pitched 13 total innings, but has 16 strikeouts and without allowing a home run, versus the eight home runs he gave up in five starts prior.
So if there is not a DL move coming for Beckett, then possibly a move to the bullpen? With Zack Greinke and Ted Lilly to return from their own trips to the DL soon, it could be worth sending Beckett to the bullpen to work out his issues, and keep his troubles out of the starting rotation.