The flu has made a run through the Dodgers clubhouse, and claimed another victim. After two days of dealing with the flu, Josh Beckett has been scratched from his start on Monday against the Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch.
The Dodgers will instead have a 'bullpen game' of sorts against Arizona, sending out relief pitchers Josh Wall, Paco Rodriguez, and Shawn Tolleson to start the game, a showcase of the three remaining pitchers with options fighting for likely one bullpen spot. After that, the innings will likely be filled by minor leaguers.
Beckett has been magnificent in spring training, with 11 strikeouts and three walks in 9⅓ innings. He has allowed only one run on four hits for a 0.96 ERA.
Manager Don Mattingly said Beckett on Monday will instead pitch a simulated game on the back fields, a situation against minor league hitters they can more easily manipulate than have Beckett pitch in a major league game.
"We want to be able to control that. If he's not going good, body-wise, then we can control it. But we can't do that out (in a major league game)," Mattingly said. "He likes where he's at as far as schedule and how it's going, and he wants to stay on track with that. He wants to get up and down seven times."
Beckett is the third Dodgers starter this spring to get scratched from an appearance with the flu, joining Ted Lilly (Mar. 5) and Zack Greinke (Mar. 6).