beckett_2014-03-08

Fifth Starter Day: Good For Maholm, Less So For Beckett

beckett_2014-03-08Josh Beckett faced 14 batters tonight against Seattle. Seven reached base, and while that’s bad, look at it this way: only four stayed there! …because three (Jesus Montero, Stefen Romero, and Justin Smoak) crushed dingers and needed only to jog lightly around the bases. Extrapolated over a full season, that puts him on pace for approximately 382,918 homers allowed. (Roughly.)

That’s pretty terrible, though of course the normal spring training caveats do apply, and Beckett told SNLA’s Alanna Rizzo after his outing that he was attempting to work on his fastball. And really, that’s the kind of thing that’s so easy to forget about spring training. It’s about the work, not the outcome. In a game that counts, you would pay more attention to the scouting report, attacking a hitter’s weakness. In March, you want to get your work in, and if the ball lands 400 feet away, well, so be it.

Usually, anyway. We can brush off lousy Clayton Kershaw starts pretty easily, and we have. If this were 2007-era Beckett, we’d do the same. Of course, this Beckett is 33, coming off a lost season, and at least theoretically battling Paul Maholm for a rotation spot — and it’s hard not to notice that a few hours before Beckett got lit up, Maholm struck out four Rangers over three innings, allowing a single run.

This was only the second outing of the spring for each pitcher, and so obviously not all that much should be read into it. Still, Beckett can’t afford lousy games like Kershaw can, and this isn’t likely to quiet any questions about that last starter spot.

***

The good news! Joc Pederson arguably had two homers tonight himself, though one turned into a double when it was uncertain whether it had actually gone out or not. Either way, he hit the ball off the end of the bat and still basically got it out of the park, and so we’ll look past the defensive miscommunication that let a ball drop, which had it been caught, may have averted a Beckett homer (since the inning may have ended). Dee Gordon reached twice and stole twice — that’s seven for seven this spring — while looking like far more of a second baseman than he ever did a shortstop.

Via Chad, here’s that Pederson blast:


GIF Link

YES PLEASE.


About

Mike wrote daily for over six long years (2007-13) about the Dodgers at Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness, which was named 2011′s “Best Sports Blog” by LA Weekly. He can currently be found writing multiple times per week at FanGraphs and ESPN, has been a producer and editor for Sports on Earth, and built The Hardball Times. He lives in New York City and will probably be asleep or on vacation when awesome things happen.


198 comments
nsxtasy
nsxtasy

MIKE - None of the topics posted since the one on Dr. Frank Job have made it to the dodgersdigest.com home page.

Hoze
Hoze

Ok, this!

ryus_hadouken
ryus_hadouken

Does anyone know if Puig had any shoulder issue(s) last year? I was wondering if his shoulder inflation was chronic or if it was just normal because I seem to recall he missed at least one reg season game last year due to his shoulder.

Hoze
Hoze

How about this? If Gordon improves defensively, and perhaps including the OF, I can see him replacing Van Slyke's spot on the roster

Hoze
Hoze

next year??

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Puug

DBrim
DBrim moderator

majortom

NoHitWin2008
NoHitWin2008

@Hoze  Haren's vesting option hits at 180 IP (which he's only done once in the past five years), so smart money is probably against him being back. I do think next year Z. Lee makes the starting rotation though. 

Have a feeling Brian Wilson won't be back though. Also it's still too early for Seager...most report a late September callup in '15 at best. I also don't see Arrubarrena playing in a utility role, but I guess stranger things have happened. I'd love that OF...my guess is that Ethier gets shipped somewhere this season, so ya never know!

Barney (Not Darwin)
Barney (Not Darwin)

@Hoze That's a nice roster. Good blend of youth and veterans and homegrown and free agent signees. It might be too soon for Urias and Bellinger though.

Hoze
Hoze

hard to guess the bench, so I just went with prospects 

ryus_hadouken
ryus_hadouken

@NoHitWin2008 I totally forgot if Bills returns back to form that it would suck to let him walk this offseason. (I hope he doesn't!)

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@Mike Petriello @nsxtasy  NVM.  I deleted my Temporary Internet Files and now it's working fine.  Sorry to trouble you, and thanks for the help!

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@nsxtasy @Mike Petriello  not saying I don't believe you, but that I don't think it's a widespread issue. Like I said, I tested it in IE10 and it's fine. Make sure you clear your local cache first.

ryus_hadouken
ryus_hadouken

@Hoze  Hmm. He didn't miss a game. He did get inflation around his debut and coming back to camp his shoulder is inflamed, again. Based on anecdotal evidence on how he plays, Puig's probably over exerting and throwing/swinging crazy. 


Huh. 

Hoze
Hoze

@ryus_hadouken @NoHitWin2008 I dont think the organization will expect Billingsley to 'owe it to them' to sign another contract. There is a very likely possibility that the team will turn down the option, but they should be prepared that another team could give him a better than LA is willing to him. Perhaps offer more guaranteed money. It would be awesome if he stays, but it might just depend on whether he will want to return to the team that declined his option. I only imagine him staying if he feels comfortable enough with the organization to give himself another chance to be productive here, but of course with the right contract also. 

But no matter what, Billingsley's best contract is the $14 million option. If the Dodgers want him to return but dont know what his health will allow him to do, I would think that would have to work near the $11 million contract involving incentives. If all goes well, Billingsley will earn that money. If it doesnt, the team doesnt have to commit as much money. We'll see...

ryus_hadouken
ryus_hadouken

@NoHitWin2008 In the even of Bills contract extension talks, I'd hope Bills doesn't try and rob Dodgers FO (after all, they stuck with him even while he struggled and hurt the club with his injury early last season). 

ryus_hadouken
ryus_hadouken

@NoHitWin2008 11 mil for a rebuilt, reloaded Beardingsley in '15. Yes, please. 


It's a foregone conclusion that Bills is going to be good coming back (he's already showing progress in health right now, he was second ace before Zack signed). But I want him to show signs of his peak coming back. And if he's better than were his peak was, yeah an extension is in order. 

NoHitWin2008
NoHitWin2008

@ryus_hadouken @NoHitWin2008  Yeah that's a possibility. If he perfroms well (a bif if, of course) then we have the $14M option for '15. It's essentially an $11M option though since his buyout would be $3M. 

I'd LOVE a Kershaw/Greinke/Ryu/Bills/Z. Lee rotation and a Pederson/Kemp/Puig OF in '15. 

ryus_hadouken
ryus_hadouken

@PagansOedipalComplex If he still has speed and can play multiple positions, he should sign for a discount w/ Dodgers. They could use his speed and utility in the playoffs. 

Hoze
Hoze

@ryus_hadouken @Hoze  I really hope Puig doesnt slump...

Whether or not Ethier is trade will depend on Kemp production when he returns. It would hard to trade him without knowing.. money is also a factor. Ethier is not worth the $18 million/yr but eat enough to make a $9-10 /yr player and teams will be more interested

ryus_hadouken
ryus_hadouken

@Hoze The best time to trade Ethier would be early this season, me thinks. Before Matt comes. 


Also, I think Puig is seriously hurting (shoulder). I wouldn't be surprised if he starts slumping because of some shoulder injury he's not talking about - in which case, Joc could come up for a length of time. Matt, Joc, and Crawford (thankfully) would still look godly.

HunterStricklandsOedipalComplex
HunterStricklandsOedipalComplex

@ryus_hadouken @PagansOedipalComplex  I'm not expecting Seager until September 2015/ Opening day 2016, Urias shouldn't even be considered until 2016, I can't imagine the bullpen being that young (I think Anderson is starting until he proves he can't), but I could potentially see Pederson in the lineup