Josh Beckett will be visiting a nerve specialist in Dallas on Monday to discuss the numbness he's felt in his fingertips on his right hand. It's the same specialist who's dealt with Chris Carpenter last season.
How severe is this injury? It's too early to tell, but that hasn't stopped Beckett from thinking his career could be over. As he stated, when you can't actually feel the baseball on your pitching hand, well, that's not exactly good news.
There's no doubt that this year has been a very disappointing one for Beckett, which mirrors the struggles of his entire team. He's 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, which are obviously ugly numbers. About the only thing he's done well is strikeout 41 in 43 1/3 innings, but then you see hitters have a .289 average against him, and the K's suddenly don't look like a big deal.
After coming over to the Dodgers in the blockbuster with the Red Sox last year, he put up great numbers by going 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He was supposed to be a perfect guy for the middle of the rotation, pitching in a pitcher's park with two championship rings. But all of that has meant squat this year.
He's already on the 15-day DL with a groin strain dating back to May 14, and combined with this news, don't expect to see him back anytime soon. And if his worst fears are true, what a shame it would be if his career really is cut short.
I was expecting big things from him this season based on how strong he was at the end of last year. However, reality has reared its ugly head. He's obviously not an overpowering pitcher anymore, so relying on secondary stuff worked for a bit, not not so much now. Plus, he's been banged up since the start, and might be really banged up now. The Dodgers might not get anything out of him this year.
Injuries are tough both physically and mentally, and Beckett is in a spot right now where nothing seems to be going right. Who can blame him for being so frustrated? Let's hope this thing gets figured out and he can give the Dodgers something positive in the second half of the season.