February 1, 2011

Beckett Has Been "Attacking The Off-Season"

Josh Beckett, who turns 31 in May, pitched like dog poop last season, with a 5.78 ERA and 1.535 WHIP -- both career worsts, by far. He also missed nine weeks with a back injury after he slipped on a wet mound at Yankee Stadium.

When last season ended, Beckett vowed to fix what needed fixing and Theo Epstein reports that he has been "attacking the offseason", hiring a personal trainer and altering his workout routine. There is what must be a recent picture of Beckett wearing a t-shirt here, but that has to be doctored. I don't think Beckett's midsection has tapered to his waist like that since his rookie season (or earlier).

Epstein also offered more thoughts on Dustin Pedroia's left foot:
He went through a period where he was having some pain in a slightly different part of his foot, and doctors determined it was basically a result of having the foot immobile for so long. That was reassuring. It didn't have anything to do with the fracture or the surgery. He's healing really well, working out. He's not wearing cleats yet, but we're going to be smart about it. We don't expect him to be limited by the time the season starts.
Terry Francona says he still plans to have David Ortiz in the lineup against some (most?) left-handed pitchers. Of course, I don't expect Tito to admit "Tiz will be riding the pine against port-siders", but having him play against more than 25% of the lefties is probably not a good idea. Ortiz hit only .222 and slugged .324 against LHP in 2010 and put up a .218/.291/.393 line against them over the last three seasons. The Red Sox have better options -- like Jed Lowrie, who has a .944 career OPS (.324/.403/.541) against southpaws.

The Yankees have signed Freddy Garcia, 35, to a minor league contract. Unlike two other signings (Mark Prior and Bartolo Colon), Garcia actually pitched in the major leagues last year, with a 4.64 ERA in 28 starts for the White Sox. However, he made only 23 starts in the previous three seasons combined (2007-09).


9casey said...

I wonder if Beckett ever had a personal trainer before. Or if he thought he could be succesful on attitude alone...

It is about time he refocused a little ..

FenFan said...

pitched like dog poop last season

Sounds about right and makes me laugh since my one resolution this year was to tone down the foul language (three kids under eight - monkey see, monkey do - you get the picture).

I look forward to a lot of the walking wounded from 2010 returning to form this season, one of the reasons to be excited about its prospects.

allan said...

I wonder if Beckett ever had a personal trainer before.

That did seem odd. I expected it to say he hired a new/different one.

FF: I said "poop". Isn't that toned down?

Amy said...

I assume FF meant "poop" was toned down. I had the same reaction---not used to you being so refined!

I can relate to Pedroia's issue. When I got the cast off my leg last winter, my foot had been immobilized for six weeks, and I could barely walk on it. The ankle was fine, but it took six weeks of PT for me to be able to walk and flex my foot easily.

Fortunately, FY is younger and has nothing else to do besides get into physical shape, so it shouldn't take him nearly as long.

laura k said...

I hear Allan say "dog poop" all the time. But it's usually in relation to actual dog poop.

Fortunately canine kids don't care what kind of language you use, they never get in trouble by repeating it to their playmates.

Zenslinger said...

I am very concerned about Pedroia's injury. I am still pissed off that the training staff did not have the stones to take him out of that game when he first injured himself, instead of letting him stay in there, take two more balls for a walk, and try to hobble down to first base on his newly broken foot. A cold night in San Francisco in more ways than one.

On a lighter note, I got an honest belly laugh from this line about the Rays introducing Manny and Johnny Damon:

When Damon said the Rays were his "dream team," Manny laughed and said, "What?"

tim said...

Heh, "poop" - well, for our sake as well as yours, Josh - lets get that fuck train rolling again.

Yeah, no toning it down around here - the fur babies don't know or care!

Another pristine signing by the Yanks - they'd totally be set if this was '02!

FenFan said...

Yes, I laughed because I'm trying use words like "poop" instead. As Amy said, I'm not use to the refinement. Ha-ha!

Pokerwolf said...

Sounds like The Little Engine That Could is healing properly. Your foot is supposed to hurt when you don't use it for that long.

Is it just me, or is this team getting more intriguing by the day? Usually, there's a feeling of "Okay, this is what we're dealing with", but there's tons of these little wrinkles (like Crawford's work ethic) that are coming out as we get closer to the start of the season. I don't remember that happening for the past couple of years. At least not as much as this year.

laura k said...

How is Crawford's work ethic a wrinkle? By all reports he's a monster - super motivated.

Will we need a "MUMS" word for Crawford? Or maybe I don't get what wrinkle means.

Pokerwolf said...

Laura: "Wrinkle", for me, means an interesting fact or storyline. Some people use it as a "bad thing", but I don't.

laura k said...

Gotcha. Thank you, PW.