Josh Beckett is on the disabled list, but he looked anything but disabled Tuesday afternoon.
That’s Beckett, in the middle of the screen, covering first base on a simulated ground ball. In baseball terms, it was a routine pitcher’s fielding practice — “PFP drills” as they’re known. It was one of the last hurdles Beckett needed to clear before he could be cleared to make his 2014 debut on Wednesday.
“We haven’t announced it but he looks like the guy,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Obviously he’s still on the DL at this point. He did PFPs today. Everything went well. He looks like he’s ready to roll unless he does something tonight to his ankle.”
If Beckett starts tomorrow against the Detroit Tigers, it will be his first major-league start since May 13 of last year. The thoracic outlet syndrome that ended his 2013 season hasn’t been an issue since he reported to spring training.
Beckett dealt with a number of minor injuries after that — a thumb contusion in March, then an ankle/calf problem in his only rehabilitation start Friday.
“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.”
Hyun-Jin Ryu is locked in to start Friday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks after an off-day Thursday, Mattingly said.
If Beckett can’t pitch tomorrow for some reason?
“We’ll use our guys accordingly,” Mattingly said. “It depends on what happens tonight.”