LOS ANGELES -- Josh Beckett has logged over 1,900 innings in the Major Leagues. The huge workload has taken its toll on the Dodgers right-hander, who is headed for surgery.
Beckett won't pitch again for the Dodgers this season, but remains confident his career is not over.
The veteran, diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, will have surgery in two weeks to remove an upper rib to relieve pressure on the nerve in his neck area. He's been dealing with numbness and tingling in his pitching hand for much of the season. An aggressive rehab program didn't work, so Beckett will go under the knife for the first time in his 13-year career.
"This was the last resort," Beckett said on Sunday. "We tried everything. I just couldn't pass any of my clinical exams."
Beckett said he won't have to alter his delivery, and wants to start a throwing program by the end of the calendar year. Beckett's recovery is expected to take between three to five months, according to the Dodgers. He hopes to be ready by the start of Spring Training.
"The goal is to try to get some sort of throwing in this year, so when I start my throwing during the offseason there's not any anxiety about throwing," he said.
Beckett was 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts this year when put on the disabled list on May 14.
The Dodgers acquired Beckett last August in the trade with the Red Sox that also brought first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto to Los Angeles.
During seven seasons with the Red Sox, Beckett said he occasionally had numbness and tingling in his pitching hand, but not to this extent.
"It always went away in the past," Beckett said. "It was never anything I dealt with over a big part of time. That was the thing that kind of alarmed us. It just stayed there for six weeks, even longer than that."
After being shut down from throwing in May, Beckett started playing catch again earlier this week. But the numbing sensation persisted and, after consulting with team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache and nerve specialist Dr. Greg Pearl, Beckett elected to have surgery.
"I just hope it gets better," Beckett said. "I want to be able to feel the ball."
Lilly takes liner off shin in rehab start
LOS ANGELES -- Left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly was hit on his shin by a line drive in a Minor League rehab start with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, but Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford served as designated hitter and did not have any issues with his once-strained left hamstring.
Lilly, rehabbing a chronic neck disk issue, was removed in the fourth inning after the comebacker hit him. The veteran was charged with four runs on five hits, including a solo home run, in three-plus innings. Lilly struck out four against two walks.
Lilly hoped to make just one rehab start before being activated. It's unclear whether this development will alter his timetable.
Crawford went 2-for-3 and scored from second base on a single. He's expected to test his hamstring by playing the outfield on Monday with the Quakes. Crawford has been on the disabled list since June 2 and hopes to be reactivated after four rehab games.
Dodgers call up Withrow, designate Guerrier
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers added another young power arm to their bullpen on Sunday, promoting rookie Chris Withrow from Triple-A Albuquerque and designating veteran Matt Guerrier for assignment.
This is the second stint in the big leagues for Withrow this season. The right-hander appeared in three games with the Dodgers in early June, striking out three in 3 1/3 innings and allowing two earned runs.
Guerrier was 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA in 34 appearances with the Dodgers this season. In three seasons with the club, the right-hander was 6-8 with a 4.24 ERA over 120 games. Guerrier last pitched on Friday, when he allowed three runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings.
"We feel like we're getting better with bringing Chris up," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "Matt is a veteran guy, but we just weren't getting results."
Guerrier was charged with seven runs in 4 1/3 innings over his past five appearances.
"It seemed like he left a lot of balls up in the zone and and didn't seem to be able to locate the ball where he wanted to," Mattingly said.
The Dodgers have 10 days to either place Guerrier on waivers, release him or trade him.
On Saturday, the Dodgers promoted rookie Jose Dominguez from Triple-A and optioned veteran right-hander Peter Moylan. The club also designated infielder Luis Cruz for assignment on Friday when rookie outfielder Scott Van Slyke was activated from the disabled list.
"We're getting a little younger and more athletic," Mattingly said.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.