Josh Beckett had nothing to announce Friday. His season is over, but we knew that already. He’ll postpone the decision on whether or not to have surgery until after the season, though he acknowledged he’ll need it at some point.
The big revelation came when Beckett admitted that he might have thrown his last major-league pitch.
For the 34-year-old pitcher, retirement would be the easy route.
If Beckett doesn’t retire, “I don’t think I would be ready for spring training, even if I had (surgery) right at the end of the season,” he said. “I’d have to go in and have it right now, and that’s not something I’m ready to do.”
The rehab process wouldn’t be short for Beckett, whose contract expires at the end of the season. The impingement in his left hip is so severe, he hasn’t been able to throw standing up until recently.
After consulting with multiple doctors, Beckett still hasn’t been told he might return to a mound without undergoing surgery. In effect, no surgery equals retirement.
“I talked to a doctor who told me that I would eventually have to have the surgery probably no matter what,” Beckett said. “You can get into whether it’s retirement, or whatever, just see if it bothers your quality of life. And whether it bothers your quality of life, that’s when you have surgery.”
Quality of life will be one factor in Beckett’s decision.
“His career ended with a hip injury,” Beckett said. “Very similar one to the one I have. I think that he’s a guy I’ve stayed in touch with. I certainly will talk to him during the off-season. He couldn’t run from this side of the room to the other. I certainly don’t want to get there. I have two young children (3 and 1). It’s going to be a priority.”
The one thing that doesn’t seem to be a question is Beckett’s ability. If he’s healthy, he can pitch.
On May 25, Beckett threw the first no-hitter of his career against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I think his stuff is good enough to pitch,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s got to want to put in tons of work and pay that price. I think that’s what happens at the end with guys, they’re either willing to pay that price to play at the major-league level or they’re not.
“That’s going to be a decision to make probably during the winter: Does he want to have surgery, does he want to do all the things, all the rehab, to get ready to pitch. I’m sure it will be a rough decision for him.”
If Beckett has thrown his final pitch, it landed for a single by Arismendy Alcantara on August 3 at Dodger Stadium.