Can Josh Beckett’s Ego Handle Being the Fourth Starter?

By Rodney Coe
Los Angeles Dodgers Josh Beckett
Kelley L Cox-US Preswire

In the MLB, there are five starting pitchers in a rotation. The Los Angeles Dodgers have four very good starting pitchers. Josh Beckett is competing for the third slot, but may wind up being fourth in the rotation. The question is: can his ego handle that?

We all know about his seven-year tumultuous tenure with the Boston Red Sox. Red Sox fans would say Beckett can’t handle taking a step back or offering any humility. He was constantly criticized in Boston, especially about his velocity and his strikeouts. He took more heat than he threw in Beantown.

At 6’5”, and 225 lbs., this hard-throwing right-hander is an imposing presence on the mound. Beckett has the ability–he can still throw in the 93 MPH range. He has a myriad of pitches like four seam, two seam, and cut fastball, curveball, changeup and he can throw a nasty slider. But with all the talent he has, can he handle it if manager Don Mattingly slides him to the fourth spot in the rotation?

The Dodgers are purposely loaded with pitching. Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw is first and newly acquired free agent Zach Greinke has the second slot firmly locked up. Then Beckett finds himself competing with $26 million Korean sensation Ryu Hyun-jin, for the coveted third spot. However, Beckett has MLB experience and in the end, that may give him the edge.

If he’s bumped to four, will that be OK with him? If so, Beckett will be great again. He is a former 20-game winner (2007) with the Red Sox and he has compiled 132 wins in 12 years.

If he finds his humility as a Dodger, this will be a great year in LA. Beckett can reinvent himself as long as he keeps his ego in check.

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