Sox undecided on Lackey pitching for Sox in September

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Sox undecided on Lackey pitching for Sox in September

NEW YORK -- John Lackey is making progress coming back from Tommy John surgery, but the Red Sox are undecided whether he'll pitch for them before the season is complete.

Lackey threw a 45-pitch side session as Bobby Valentine watched. The manager liked what he saw.

"I would say that I'll bet you there were 35 to 37 of those pitches were excellent," said Valentine. "They were thrown with an ease of motion and had perfect location, movement. I was very impressed with what I saw. And, after talking to him after with what I saw, he's feeling really good about his progress."

Lackey will try to throw more breaking balls on flat ground as part of his next step, then return to a session where he replicates a game situation by pitching "innings."

As to whether Lackey might pitch in September, the Sox haven't made a determination. He underwent surgery last October, which would have him at the 11-month recovery stage next month.

"We haven't gotten quite that far in the schedule," said GM Ben Cherington. "He's come along really well. I fully expect him to pitch in some sort of competitive environment this year so that he can go into the off-season and feel like it's a normal off-season. But I don't know when that game is or what that game is."

There's only about two weeks left in most minor league seasons making it, according to Cherington, "unlikely he'll pitch in a regular-season minor league game."

Lackey could conceivably pitch in an Instructional League game or a simulated game at the team's minor league complex in Fort Myers.

Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

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Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.

Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.

In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game:

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal. 

Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016. 

The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.

More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.