Beckett (thumb) expected to make first start

Beckett (thumb) expected to make first start
April 2, 2012, 4:35 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine confirmed on Monday morning that Josh Beckett has a thumb injury and is being examined in San Antonio.

But Valentine added that he totally expects Beckett to make his start in the second game of the season, Saturday against the Tigers in Detroit.

Beckett threw 100 pitches yesterday in a bullpen session and felt great, hit location, Valentine said. Hes had a little situation that he was taking care of today -- so I guess you all know that -- just for peace of mind.

Becketts regularly scheduled day to start was Sunday. But rather than face the Twins for the second time this spring, he was slated for five innings in a minor league game on Sunday. That was eventually changed to a bullpen session in order to provide a more controlled environment, Valentine said Sunday morning.

Asked his level of confidence that Beckett would make his start Saturday, Valentine replied:

Real good today, after yesterday and he said he felt really good. I talked to the trainers and pitching coach Bob McClure . . . but it seemed like everything was fine.

Beckett has had a history of blisters on his pitching hand, but Valentine said that was not the issue.

No, just been a little situation, Valentine said. Think I might have mentioned it 10 days ago. It was a situation we were dealing with.

I feel really good right now. But as in all cases you have to be prepared. I think we are. I think were covered whatever happens. But the good news is, in his 100 pitches yesterday he felt good.

Alfredo Aceves said earlier Monday morning he has been told to be ready to start the second game of the season -- as well as the home opener -- if Beckett is unable to pitch.

Well, Id rather not talk about conversations I have with players, Valentine said. But suffice it to say you have to always be prepared.

Asked if Becketts thumb problem bothers the righthander more on one particular pitch than his others, Valentine replied:

Youd have to ask him. Its been a little hard to quite put our thumb on it.

Beckett is expected to rejoin the team in Detroit for Opening Day on Thursday, rather than for the exhibition game against the Nationals in Washington, D.C. tomorrow.