Beckett is back, others might not be far behind
Things are officially looking up for the Red Sox, as Josh Beckett’s first start since May 18 is currently in progress.
Returns to the active roster could become commonplace over the next couple of weeks.
* The next to be back in the lineup? Most likely Victor Martinez. The catcher will work with Clay Buchholz in the bullpen before tomorrow’s game and if he doesn’t feel any discomfort in his fractured thumb, that is a sign that he could return soon, maybe even in Anaheim.
“I mean, if I feel like I felt yesterday, I’m just days away. We’ll see what happens,” Martinez said.
* Then there is Dustin Pedroia. The second baseman will have his fractured left foot checked out by a doctor while the team is in Anaheim, but is unlikely to have clearance to remove his walking boot until a week from today, when he gets a CT-scan in Boston. Don’t talk to Pedroia about a Minor League rehab assignment. He is simply not interested.
“I’ll talk to Theo and Tito, everybody, but it depends how we’re doing as a team,” said Pedroia. “We’re trying to get everybody back as fast as possible and I think the Red Sox need us more than the PawSox do.”
* As for Pedroia’s replacements at second, Jed Lowrie was the one who got the start Friday. But Francona said not to take that as a slight at Bill Hall, who made two errors on Thursday and played in left tonight.
“I actually think he’s done a pretty good job,” Francona said. “He’s made some errors. Last night, that play for me was bang bang, I think he has to [throw it]. I don’t see how he eats that ball. If he eats it, everybody’s going to say, what the hell … The throw is off line and it’s costly. That happens. When you lose Pedroia, you can’t replace Pedroia with Pedroia. That’s not how it works. I think he’s done a really good job for us. But against the left-hander, I wanted Jed to play tonight so I guess the best way to do it was to play him at second.”
* Michael Bowden got caught in a roster crunch today as the Sox needed to send someone down to make room for Beckett. It was no slight at how he pitched.
“I’m obviously disappointed, but I had a feeling that this was going to happen,” Bowden said. “But I also have a feeling that I’ll be back sooner rather than later. Every time out there, I got a little more comfortable, a little more relaxed. I think it’s just about getting more repetitions, more appearances, so I can really feel 100 percent comfortable out there and do my job.”