Josh Beckett is on track to make his 2014 debut Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers after throwing a normal bullpen session Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
The veteran right-hander has been on the 15-day disabled list with a right thumb contusion since the season began. He suffered the injury in spring training when the clubhouse door swung open and hit his thumb.
The thumb wasn’t an issue when Beckett threw four-plus innings in a minor-league rehab start Friday for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, but he aggravated something in his right calf/ankle area.
On Sunday, Beckett threw for about 15 minutes with head athletic trainer Stan Conte watching.
“It was better than yesterday,” he said.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Hyun-Jin Ryu might start the game on normal rest Wednesday in case Beckett can’t pitch.
“I think we have to leave him as a possibility,” Mattingly said. “He’d be healthy for it.”
Beckett gave up three runs in the first inning against the San Jose Giants in Rancho Cucamonga, then didn’t allow a run for the next three innings.
In the fifth inning, Beckett came off the mound to field a bunt attempt by the first batter he faced. According to Michelle Gardner of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin,
Beckett raced over to try and make the play but came up limping slightly. That led to the end of the night.
Beckett said he had developed an ankle/calf issue in the last two weeks and that play slightly aggravated that. He wasn’t sure exactly what led to that issue but considered it a minor one.
“I had some swelling in my ankle. My calf was barking a little bit too,” Beckett said Sunday. “We kind of ruled that out. The calf got better with some treatment yesterday, some ice last night. … The ankle feels perfect.”
Other than the lousy first inning, Beckett was encouraged by Friday’s outing.
“I felt like I had good power stuff,” he said. “The changeup was good. The cutter was suspect. It was all and all pretty good. The first inning I was all over the place. After that I settled down.
“I was (recorded throwing) 92-94 (mph on the radar gun) the other day in Rancho. That’s what Hergie (pitching coach Matt Herges) told me. I think that’s probably hard enough. I threw 75, 76 pitches … I was still feeling pretty good in the last inning. Other than awkwardly fielding that ball it was good.”