The Dodgers today announced the activation of pitcher Josh Beckett from the 15-day disabled list. To make room for Beckett on the active roster, Los Angeles optioned Jose Dominguez to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Beckett, who gets the start tonight, suffered a contusion on his right thumb in March. When the team broke camp, the 33-year was put on the DL. Beckett pitched four innings for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in a rehab start five days ago and was declared fit. Tonight against the Tigers, his pitch count will be closely monitored.
“Josh is ready to go,” Dodger manager Don Mattingly said. “He hasn’t been built to 90 pitches yet, but he’s close. He’s in the neighborhood.”
The three-time All Star was acquired by the Dodgers in 2012 in a blockbuster trade with Boston. In seven starts with Los Angeles, he posted a 2.93 earned run average. The following season Beckett made only eight starts, going 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA before being diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Surgery in June involved removal of Beckett’s first rib to relieve pressure on his nerves.
With Beckett's return, 22-year-old Dominguez proved to be the odd man out. The fire-balling right hander returns to Albuquerque where he pitched eight games without allowing an earned run in 2013.
Reliever Brian Wilson is also close to returning to the Dodgers. Wilson landed on the DL on April 2nd – retroactive to March 31 – with inflammation in the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow. The bearded wonder threw today under the supervision of Dodger pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
“The ball came out good,” Mattingly said. “Rick’s got a plan for him. We’re not sure he’ll be ready after 15 (days), but we’re in the ball park if there aren’t any setbacks. We’ll see where he is tomorrow and go from there.”
With a talent-laden roster, making room for Wilson will force some difficult decisions. Mattingly likes it that way.
“In Spring Training, we asked guys to make the decisions tough,” he explained. “That’s what we want. You have to give Ned (Colletti) and his group credit for planning and knowing that things happen. You’ve got to give them credit for building that depth.”