Despite a torn labrum and two cysts in one of his hips, Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Josh Beckett is expected to make his return from the disabled list on Tuesday and start on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Beckett seems to believe he will be fine, but one has to wonder how long his injuries can be masked by injections before they become overwhelming.
Beckett has been spectacular thus far in the 2014 MLB season, and should contend for the NL Comeback Player of the Year award if he manages to finish the season somewhat healthy. In 17 starts, he is 6-5 with just a 2.26 ERA, 1.032 WHIP and has struck out 95 batters in 103.2 innings, good for a respectable 8.2 K/9 ratio. Beckett has truly been dominant at times despite his low win total, and he pitched the first no-hitter of 2014, much to delight and surprise of the Dodgers’ front office and fans alike.
Beckett is currently available in 14.2 percent of ESPN leagues, and 28 percent on Yahoo!. He has rewarded fantasy baseball owners who picked him up during the first month of the season after being essentially completely undrafted, but his current situation is certainly difficult to gauge. Most athletes end up ultimately needing surgery to repair a torn labrum in the hip (Alex Rodriguez, Chase Utley, Alex Gordon, etc.), and it is fair to assume Beckett’s comeback will be cut short in need of an operation as well.
For now, I would suggest monitoring Beckett on a start-by-start basis and proceed with caution. The odds seem stacked against him staying healthy for the remainder of the season, but in the event he does and performs like he did in the first half, you are not going to want to miss out.