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Fantasy Baseball: Josh Beckett's Return

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Owning Josh Beckett this season has not been fun. For the 45.2 innings he has pitched, he killed his owners’ ERA and WHIP. Some were almost thankful when we went to the DL—there was no obligation to trot him out there every fifth day to see yourself fall in the standings.

But after a couple setbacks, it’s now been two months since Beckett has stepped on a mound, and he will finally be making his return on Friday. But which Josh Beckett will we get.

From a qualitative standpoint, I’ll admit I am still concerned. Beckett has always struggled out of the gate, which is why most people weren’t panicking quite yet before he got hurt. But here is my question. Hasn’t Beckett been hurt long enough that he’s basically starting over? Does that mean we have to go through another month of struggles before he starts to be productive again?

I guess we’ll wait and see. On the statistical side of things, there were reasons that Beckett was pitching poorly—his walks were up, his Ks a little down and he was giving up line drives like it was his job. But there was luck involved too—his LOB% was at 55.9. So while he wasn’t that bad, he was still pretty rough.

In a vacuum my recommendation is to sit Beckett—despite his strong matchup at Seattle—for his first start. And if you can keep him on the DL, I would probably wait for a second start as well given how cushy his first one will be. Keep in mind that if you can afford the ratio stats and mostly looking for wins and Ks you can put him in your lineup. Of course, it’s always about needs.

Beckett was ranked 39th by the four of us—so that’s about where I’ll set the line for the poll. Consult the starting pitcher rankings to get a sense of the pitchers around him, if you like.