Results tagged ‘ Josh Beckett ’

Optimism on Cameron; Brakes on Beckett

Good news and semi-bad news on the Red Sox’s injury front today.

Mike Cameron was examined by a specialist today, and there are no significant problems with his lower abdomen. Instead, he has normal soreness that is to be expected considering the time he missed with the injury in the first place. Cameron won’t play tonight and tomorrow is a day game, so that could be a stretch. Friday in Baltimore? That might be pretty realistic.

“Good update,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He was seen this morning. We ruled out any of the things that happened on the other side. There’s certainly some inflammation. It’s actually kind of deep. I think Cam feels a lot better knowing that, when this subsides, and it already is, it will be to the point where he can do everything he wants, he’s not going to hurt himself. Already, you see a little different look in his eyes. That was really good news. He’s not going to play tonight. I don’t know if he’s going to play tomorrow. And when he does play, like we talked about before, we’ll keep an eye on him. But that was really encouraging news.”

As for ace Josh Beckett, he likely won’t even pick up a baseball again for at least 10 days. Beckett had thrown an abbreviated side session last Friday, but the club didn’t like the execution of his delivery, and they are determined to be conservative with his lower back strain.

“We’re going to slow him down a little bit,” said Francona. “By that, probably, I don’t know if we’re going to have a firm timetable, but probably about 10 days. What we talked about the other day in the bullpen, the inconsistencies in his delivery, all of a sudden, when he’s doing that, we’re running into some lat discomfort, which we’re not comfortable with. We lean on this guy too much, or we need to. So until we can completely get back where he’s going through his delivery, we’re going to make him take it easy. I think he understands it. I don’t think he probably loves it.

“I think he realizes this is where his best interest ends up probably being our best interest, so we’re going to be pretty firm about this. He can do a lot of things, but when we get him back out there throwing, we don’t want him making any adjustments to his delivery, to his arm slot, because that’s where we run into problems.”

Victor Martinez is on the bench despite going 5-for-5 last night with four doubles. The reason? He still is recovering from that badly bruised big left toe and the Red Sox need Martinez to catch Tim Wakefield in Thursday’s day game.

In other news, the Red Sox won the daily double when it came to the American League’s Player and PItcher of the Month. David Ortiz was Player of the Month and Jon Lester earned pitching honors.

Sox seeking a Sunday split

After losing the first two games of this series, a gem by Clay Buchholz Saturday night has put the Sox in position to salvage a split of this four-game series. They have a decisive advantage today in the pitching matchup, with a red-hot Jon Lester taking on Bruce Chen.

Dustin Pedroia will not start today. Obviously the little second baseman is scuffling at the plate. Today’s off-day coincides with Monday’s team day off, which means a well-rested Pedroia can take the field on Tuesday night.

Victor Martinez will also take a breather today after playing the last two games on a badly bruised left toe.

Josh Beckett held court with the media a little while ago. He doesn’t seem overly concerned about his back injury, thinking he could experience great improvement at any time. If anything, Beckett feels the team was overly conservative not letting him throw the last two days. But as he said, “Everyone has to answer to somebody.”

Cameron in center — at least tonight

Mike Cameron will hit ninth for the Red Sox tonight in his first game back from the disabled list. He will also be in center field. However, it sounds like that is not going to be a common occurrence for the next few weeks.Jacoby Ellsbury — who is taking a rest tonight — will be the team’s primary center fielder, at least while Cameron recovers from a lower abdominal strain. Ellsbury’s interpretation of the move is that he will play center for “the duration of the season.”

This is an injury that could linger a little for Cameron all season long, so it would not be a surprise at all if left field be comes his primary position for the foreseeable future. And now we get word that Ellsbury had soreness in his left side before the game and Darnell McDonald — who was supposed to be designated for assignment to make room for Cameron — has resurfaced. Scott Atchison was designated for assignment to make room for Cameron. More on that later

Josh Beckett threw off flat ground earlier this afternoon and threw briefly off the mound. He might throw a full-blown side session on Friday. No word yet on if Beckett will be able to be activated as soon as he is eligible — on June 3 vs. Oakland.

Here is tonight’s lineup:

Scutaro SS
Pedroia 2B
Drew RF
Youkilis 1B
Ortiz DH
Beltre 3B
Hermida LF
Varitek C
Cameron CF

Lester SP

Friday night in Philly

Back to Interleague Play, where I’ve already seen John Lackey execute a perfect sacrifice bunt.

What is imperfect for the Red Sox is that David Ortiz can’t be in the lineup despite being red-hot. Kevin Youkilis is equally hot, but there’s no DH, meaning only one guy can play. Tonight, that guy is Youkilis. Perhaps by tomorrow, it will be Ortiz. But one thing manager Terry Francona said you won’t see this weekend is Youk playing third and Ortiz starting at third. Youkilis hasn’t spent any time at third this season with Mike Lowell on the roster as the backup 3B, so Francona doesn’t think it’s fair to throw that at him now.

In another encouraging sign that ace Josh Beckett will be able to return as soon as his DL stint expires on June 3, the righty played catch before Friday’s game.

“That’s the first step,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “And again I haven’t talked to him, but he will kind of ramp back up throwing, and then when he’s ready for a side, we’ll do that and then take it from there. But I think like we said the other day, we weren’t thrilled about putting him on the DL. But I think if you’re going to err — I don’t know that we did
err — but if you’re going to, we want it to be on the side of caution. I think we probably did the right thing. Now we’ll get him back up feeling good about himself.”

Jacoby Ellsbury will be back in the leadoff spot on Saturday night, which will be a most welcome thing for Red Sox followers.

Back at Fenway, but not for long

The homestand is officially underway, but don’t get used to it. The Red Sox will be at Fenway for all of two games before venturing back on the road for a six-game road trip through Philly and Tampa Bay that starts on Friday.

A long night at Yankee Stadium — an hour rain delay and a four-hour game — became longer even still for the Red Sox when they had some flight issues coming home. What time did manager Terry Francona return to his residence?

“I think I pulled up at the driveway at 10 till 6,” Francona said.

He didn’t stay home long. When did he get to Fenway?

“I got here at 10 to 12 because I had to do the EEI thing at noon so I made it,” Francona said.

By the way, Francona is surprised that the media did not ask him about the somewhat humorous scene on Monday night, when he was in the middle of an argument with the umpire and wound up staying on the field during God Bless America.

“I can’t believe nobody asked me about the God Bless America the other night,” Francona said. “I can’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do. I went out to tell the guy I was mad at him and I ended up honoring America with him. We were both looking at each other laughing. I told him during the song, did you ever throw anybody out during God Bless America. He didn’t know me, I don’t think he knew how to take that. I said, ‘I’m just teasing.”‘

On to the nuts and bolts of the day:

Josh Beckett won’t pitch for the Red Sox again until June 3. The righty is on the DL with a lower back strain. But Tim Wakefield will step right in and pitch Sunday in Philly.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron will both play at Portland on Thursday, inching closer to returning to the team.

Joe Nelson, the last cut in Spring Training, is back, ready to help the bullpen.

Bronx-bound

Hey all. Sorry for the lack of blog entries the last few days. I wasn’t on the trip to Detroit. But I am on the Amtrak right now, ready to get back into action.

The Red Sox need some sort of jolt. Every time they establish just a bit of momentum, they take a step back. Saturday night’s game was a perfect example, with a 6-1 lead and unable to close it out. And then another tough loss followed on Sunday.

Healthy bodies are coming. Mike Cameron should play Tuesday; Jacoby Ellsbury starts his rehab today.In the meantime, the Red Sox cannot afford to fall back any further in the standings. Seven and a half games is a sizable deficit before Memorial Day.

We have two strong pitching matchups for this series. Tonight, it’s Dice-K vs. Phil Hughes. Matsuzaka’s last start was one of the best he’s had during his time with the Red Sox. If he can duplicate that, perhaps he will become a serious weapon for this rotation.

And tomorrow, it’s Josh Beckett against CC Sabathia for the second time this season. Naturally, it turned into a slugfest on Opening Night. I don’t expect either ace to allow that to happen this time. All eyes will be on Beckett, as he has been highly inconsistent thus far this year.

Opening Night — 1 of 162

Perfect night. Great pitching matchup (Josh Beckett vs. CC Sabathia). Two age-old rivals (Red Sox and Yankees).

And there Pedro Martinez was, wearing Red Sox jersey No. 45 again and throwing out the first pitch. A pretty cool moment, I must say. It was only fitting that Varitek caught the pitch, since he caught just about every pitch Pedro threw in a Sox uniform.

Everyone ready?

Here are tonight’s lineups.

Yankees.

Jeter SS
Johnson DH
Teixeira 1B
A-Rod 3B
Cano 2B
Posada C
Granderson CF
Swisher RF
Gardner LF

Sabathia SP

Red Sox

Ellsbury LF
Pedroia 2B
Martinez C
Youkilis 1B
Ortiz DH
Beltre 3B
Drew RF
Cameron CF
Scutaro SS

Beckett SP

Beckett ready to go; Lefties not quite

Ace Josh Beckett made it clear Monday night that he’s good to go for Opening Day. The righty was sharp in his 94-pitch outing, scattering six hits and two earned runs and striking out eight.

“I thought he was strong,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “I didn’t think he was quite down as much as he was last outing. I thought he threw some real good changeups. I thought as he got into the game, he started throwing his breaking ball. I think he feels good about himself. He should. He looks strong — he looks ready to go.”

Beckett accomplished what he set out to do this spring, despite a bad cold/flu that weakened him for about two weeks.

“You want to progressively get better. I felt like I did that,” said Beckett.

Mike Lowell made a solid return to the lineup, lacing two singles to right over his three at-bats. It was Lowell’s first game since Friday, when he pounded a foul ball off his left knee.

Meanwhile, the battle in the bullpen is still going. Scott Schoeneweis, signed on Saturday, made his first appearance with the Red Sox. It started just fine, with two strikeouts. But then things worsened. The lefty gave up two hits and two runs over 2/3 of an inning, walking two.

“I thought Schoeneweis — I thought he was a little too amped up,” Francona said. “He’s had a week off. The ball was moving all over the place, but not necessarily in the strike zone. First two hitters struck out and then things kind of got away from us a little bit.”

Alan Embree, another veteran lefty who was signed on March 20. Unlike Schoeneweis, who had a full camp for the Brewers, Embree wasn’t pitching for anyone until he got that call from the Sox.

For the second time in as many outings, he struggled, giving up two hits and four runs — three earned — over 2/3 of an inning. Embree walked two, but felt it was better than his first outing two days earlier.

“Alan just didn’t command very well from the very first pitch,” Francona said. “He was kind of up, down, so we’ve got some things to work on.  It’s been coming quick but he’ll come back Wednesday. Just trying to get him enough work and not too much.”

After giving up a leadoff walk, Embree was trying to get groundballs.

“Threw five groundballs. Leadoff walk is just a leadoff walk, flat out. Settled in, tried to get double play balls. Tried to get them to hit it on the ground. Made the pitches to make them hit it on the ground,” said Embree. “Most of the time I’ll take those groundballs. Tonight it didn’t seem to fall the right way.’

Embree and Schoeneweis will both pitch again on Wednesday in Sarasota against the Orioles.

No fifth year for Beckett?

If Red Sox ace Josh Beckett can avoid free agency and sign a new pact with the team he has pitched for since 2006, it apparently won’t be for the same length as the five-year deal John Lackey agreed upon back in December.

ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes, citing a source with “knowledge of the negotiations”, reported Saturday night that the Red Sox won’t go past four years in their negotiations with Beckett.

However, the sides are still believed to be negotiating, as the Red Sox would like to keep Beckett and the right-hander has a desire to stay in Boston long-term.

Both Beckett and the club have stood by their vow to keep all negotiations private. There have been no public words from either side about the status of talks that could prevent Beckett from reaching free agency for the first time in his career following the 2010 season.

Beckett will start for the Red Sox in the first game of Major League Baseball’s 2010 season – on the night of April 4 at Fenway against the New York Yankees.

Though it has been Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein’s policy not to go five years for a free agent starter, he made an exception on Lackey, in large part because A.J. Burnett had set a bench-mark of sorts when he signed for that length with the Yankees in Dec., 2008.

According to the ESPN report, concerns about the long-term health of Beckett’s right shoulder is the main reason the Red Sox are hesitant to go five years.

Beckett, who turns 30 on May 15, is 65-34 with a 4.05 ERA in 122 starts for the Red Sox. In his career, he is 106-68 with a 3.79 ERA. The righty forever notched a place in Boston’s postseason lore by going 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA in October of 2007, lifting the Red Sox to a World Series championship. Beckett was equally heroic in leading the Marlins to a World Series title in 2003, firing a shutout against the Yankees on three days rest in clinching Game 6.

Beckett for Openers; Frandsen, Schoeneweis on board

Josh Beckett will get the ball on Opening Night (April 4), when the Red Sox open the 2010 season against the Yankees at Fenway Park. Jon Lester will pitch the second game of that series two days later, while John Lackey draws the finale on April 7, making his first start in a Boston uniform.

Veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will pitch the season’s fourth game, on April 9 at Kansas City. Beckett will pitch the second game of that series and Clay Buchholz, Boston’s No. 5 starter to open the season, will pitch the finale of that three-game set against the Royals. Lester will slide in again after that, and the pitchers will stay in their regular order from there.

In other news, the Sox have made a depth move, acquiring utilityman Kevin Frandsen in a trade with the Giants. The Sox will send a player to be named or cash.  Frandsen, a close friend of Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, will report to camp on Saturday.

And there was another transaction recorded by busy general manager Theo Epstein shortly thereafter, as veteran lefty Scott Schoenewis agreed to terms on a Minor League deal that included an invite to camp. The Red Sox signed Alan Embree last week, and released Brian Shouse this morning. The battle is on for the final spots in the Boston bullpen.

For what it’s worth, Schoenweis has thrived at Fenway in his career, holding opponents to a .168 average and 2.59 ERA.  He is the cousin of Red Sox special advisor Jeremy Kapstein.

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