PHOENIX -- Brandon Beachy wasn't particularly sharp in his first outing of the Cactus League with two walks in his two innings and only 14 of his 30 pitches in the strike zone. But that doesn't take away from Monday's outing.
Especially in relation to a year ago, when Beachy was still rehabbing from his second Tommy John surgery, not competing in games.
"I don't think there are words to describe [the difference between this year and last]," Beachy said. "It's a different focus, trying to pitch and get better each time, get people out."
Beachy pitched two scoreless innings on Monday against the Indians, working around a single and a walk in the fourth inning, then having his second walk gunned down trying to steal second base in the fifth inning.
"I've been feeling really good in the bullpens. Then you get out there and it's just a little different. I have to fight off the adrenaline a little bit," Beachy said. "I'm rushing on the fastball, babying the offspeed, just some little adjustments I have to make.
"My fastball when I slowed down, finish it and throw through it, it was pretty good. I felt like it had a little bit of life to it. It's just a matter of trusting it, and not trying to be too fine and place it."
"For Beachy, as long as he continues to feel good, the ball coming out of his hand well, the sharpness of his secondaries will be there," manager Dave Roberts said.
Beachy made the long road back to the majors from those two elbow surgeries with the Braves, making two major league starts for the Dodgers in 2015, though was ineffective and finished the season in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The right-hander signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract to return to the Dodgers, with another $3 million in performance bonuses built in. Though Beachy was sent outright to Triple-A in the offseason and is currently off the 40-man roster, he is definitely in the mix for one of the open spots in the Dodgers' starting rotation.
Beachy says he is trying to maintain a more singular focus.
"I can't think about the competition. I have to solely focused on competing with myself, and getting better the next time out, working on some things in the bullpen with my timing and my pace, just being comfortable out there," Beachy explained. "Everything else is going to take care of itself. The more I think about that the worse I'll be, so I'm just not going to, I guess."
Most importantly, Beachy is healthy and after a relatively normal offseason that is a welcome change, especially after pitching a total of 126⅔ innings in the majors and minors combined in the last three years.
"It's night and day. It's not something I'm thinking about out there, thankfully. I'm not worried about that. It's either healthy or it's not. There's nothing I can do about it," Beachy said. "At this point I've crossed all my Ts and dotted all my Is. It's time to trust it and pitch."