LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett was out on the field at Dodger Stadium playing catch before Thursday's series opener against the Padres, four days after his last start and three days after a cortisone shot in his left hip.
Beckett was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with an impingement in his left hip, but with the timing of the All-Star break he could miss as little as one start.
"Josh feels good," manager Don Mattingly said on Thursday. "We're hopeful that this time will allow the injections to take hold, be able to strengthen areas he needs to, and just feel better in general."
Mattingly said either Paul Maholm, currently on the active roster, or Red Patterson, currently in Triple-A, would start for the Dodgers on Saturday, when Beckett was originally scheduled. It depends on how the next two games go, which basically means if Maholm isn't needed to pitch he will likely start on Saturday.
Mattingly said Maholm would probably be built up enough to throw 80-90 pitches. He was 1-4 with a 5.50 ERA in seven starts earlier this season, with 18 walks and 13 strikeouts in 37⅔ innings.
Patterson last pitched for the Isotopes on Sunday. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed one run in 4⅔ innings in his major league debut on May 1 in Minnesota, with three walks and one strikeout. He is 3-7 with a 5.50 ERA in 16 starts for Triple-A Albuquerque, with 72 strikeouts and 21 walks in 85⅔ innings.
Mattingly wouldn't commit to a timetable for Beckett's return, though he did say that per team doctors surgery isn't a consideration at this time. Mattingly compared it to the hip impingement suffered by Clayton Kershaw in 2012, an injury that caused Kershaw to miss one start and have a second start pushed back by two days.
"[Beckett] knows what he's dealing with now, and the fact that he's been able to deal with it has been good. The pitching part has been the easiest, and everything in between has been the tough stuff," Mattingly said. "Hopefully we can get any inflammation or soreness out of there during this time off."
The next time Beckett's spot in the rotation comes up is likely July 22, the Dodgers' fifth game after the All-Star break.