Josh Beckett throws bullpen session, might start Wednesday

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The right-hander is getting closer to making his 2014 debut for the Dodgers.

LOS ANGELES -- Josh Beckett threw roughly 35 pitches in what he termed as a normal bullpen session on Sunday, and said his right ankle is improving. He could be activated from the disabled list as early as Wednesday to start against the Tigers.

"It was better than yesterday," Beckett said Sunday.

Beckett pitched into the fifth inning in his minor league rehab start for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, throwing 76 pitches and hitting 92-94 mph during the start.

"I felt good. I had good power stuff," Beckett said. "I have been excited. You want to feel good. You don't want to go out there and feel like you're behind the eight ball. That was what was so frustrating the other night, having to leave that game."

Beckett was at 71 pitches through four innings on Friday, and his limit was somewhere between 80-85 pitches. The first batter of the fifth, San Jose center fielder Jesus Galindo, dragged a bunt and Beckett rolled his ankle trying to field it.

If Beckett is able to start on Wednesday, that would allow the Dodgers to push Hyun-jin Ryu back to Friday and start the left-hander on extra rest two straight times before the club starts a stretch of 29 games in 30 days.

"[Ryu]'s already had three starts. The reason now would be to take advantage of the off days. It works out for everybody getting an extra day," manager Don Mattingly said. "Obviously we'd like to give Hyun-jin that extra day."

Beckett said there was still swelling in the ankle but it was improving. He was also dealing with what he called a "barking" calf, but that improved with treatment and ice on Saturday. This was after coming back from surgery to relieve nerve pressure caused by Thoracic Outlet Sydnrome last year, and a thumb contusion this spring that Beckett said isn't giving him any problems now.

"I guess it's just part of getting old," said the soon-to-be 34-year-old.

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