Josh Beckett expected to return to disabled list with hip injury

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The Dodgers acquired veteran right-hander Roberto Hernandez from the Phillies earlier today and it turns out that he’ll slide right into the starting rotation tomorrow night against the Brewers.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Josh Beckett had an MRI on his hip and is expected to be placed on the disabled list. It’s possible that he could miss the rest of the season.

Beckett, who is dealing with a labrum tear and two cysts in his hip, already had one stint on the disabled list prior to the All-Star break. He has tried to pitch through the condition with the help of cortisone injections, but it hasn’t worked out so well, as he owns an 8.25 ERA over three starts since his return and hasn’t completed five innings in any of them.

The Dodgers have yet to make an official announcement on Beckett’s status for the rest of the season, but it’s clear that they aren’t counting on him. Dodgers general Ned Colletti told Shaikin that “there’s another pitcher out there” they are trying to get even after today’s acquisition of Hernandez.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.