Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett didn’t provide an update on his health Sunday morning, probably because the reality is bleak and blunt: The longer he goes without being able to throw off a mound, the less likely he is to pitch in a game this season.
There are exactly six weeks left in the regular season as of today, and there’s still no timetable for Beckett to begin throwing.
“He was doing some water workouts,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s what I have.”
Earlier this week, Mattingly said that the onus was on Beckett to make a decision as to whether or not he would undergo season-ending surgery on his left hip. The injury — officially an “impingement,” though Beckett said in July that he had a torn labrum and two cysts — has caused him to miss 23 games and counting.
On Sunday, Mattingly clarified that stance.
“This is not like he feels like he’s got 10 more years to play and he’s going to have surgery now so he can get ready for spring training next year,” Mattingly said. “If he wants to do surgery, or if Josh would elect to have surgery, it’s basically after the season is over.”
In short, Beckett’s hail-mary attempt to save his season will continue until time runs out. At that point, don’t be surprised if he has the surgery. Since Beckett’s contract expires after the season, it’s quite possible he has pitched his last game as a Dodger.
That casts an uncertain future over a pitcher who has won 138 regular-season games and seven postseason games in a 14-year career.
Of course, Beckett’s future might have been even less certain a year ago before he made an impressive recovery from thoracic outlet surgery.