It’s easy to forget the Dodgers didn’t anoint Beckett as their fifth starter in spring training.His recovery from the rare surgery in July 2013 was almost without precedent — at least that was the simple reason dispatched by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.At 33, he was acutely aware the time on his baseball clock was winding down. Pearl never gave him odds, Beckett said, “and I kept asking for that.” Maybe the odds just weren’t that good.Among major-league pitchers, the track record for successful recoveries from thoracic outlet surgery is short.Yet Beckett was healthy enough to maintain a virtually normal routine throughout camp.Other than the time a teammate opened the “exit” door while entering the clubhouse and jammed Beckett’s thumb, he was pain-free.“Lon Rosen (the Dodgers’ vice president of marketing) called me and asked me if I wanted to come to the home playoff games. “That was really kind of the turning point for me, knowing that I really wanted to be back on the mound.
“Progress is glacial.” Of course, most of Fuller’s patients are not athletes. The procedure has been around for almost 50 years, Fuller said.
With a devastating curveball and a four-seam fastball that can still touch 95 mph, Beckett has successfully reinvented himself.
In doing so, he’s given more hope to the next thoracic outlet surgery recipient than perhaps any pitcher before him.
At least the physician the Dodgers recommended wasn’t confused. There was no him leaving the office, talking to anybody else.
He did an exam on me, looked at my MRI, looked at all my X-rays. It didn’t take long at all.” It was the correct diagnosis.