LOS ANGELES -- He's been ineffective, but is he hurt?
The Los Angeles Dodgers seemed to have a hard time getting the story straight after Monday's 6-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. Josh Beckett, who is 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA, left the game after just three innings in part, manager Don Mattingly said, because he slightly strained a groin muscle covering first base on an Adam LaRoche groundout.
Beckett is also battling an assortment of minor injuries, Mattingly said. But what?
"He's had some little stuff going on in different areas, and I think it was bothering him tonight," Mattingly said.
Little stuff, such as?
"We had known some little stuff was going on," Mattingly said.
And what about Beckett? How did he pinpoint these injuries? After all, it's his body. He repeated the phrase, "I'm not a doctor," several times in his postgame interview when asked what has been bothering him. Do you have to be a doctor to know where you're feeling pain?
"I don't know how they treat things here," he said.
He also said, "I'm healthy enough to pitch," which might be a regrettable phrase if the Dodgers, indeed, put Beckett on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. The timing would be opportune as it appears Zack Greinke will come off the DL to pitch against Washington Wednesday night. Mattingly wouldn't confirm that Greinke will pitch Wednesday, but said they've settled on a starter.
The Dodgers owe Beckett about $26 million between now and the end of the 2014 season and, aside from the DL, there's really nowhere else to put him. He's been out of options for a decade. He hasn't pitched in relief since 2003, and the Dodgers saw earlier what can happen when you try to stash extra starting pitchers in the bullpen.
If Beckett avoids the DL and makes his next scheduled start, the Dodgers can only pray he'll work a bit faster than he did Monday. Beckett needed 30 seconds between pitches in the first inning when he wasn't throwing over to first. The Dodgers are beginning to see a link between Beckett's laborious pace, their defensive crispness and his overall effectiveness. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt has asked him to pick it up a bit.
"I'd like to see him work really quick," Mattingly said. "Some guys work quicker, some guys work slower."