Beckett to pitch simulated game on Friday

191542.jpg

Beckett to pitch simulated game on Friday

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Four days after being struck in the head by a ball, Josh Beckett continues to make progress toward returning to the Red Sox' rotation.

Beckett will throw a three-inning simulated game Friday with an eye toward pitching Tuesday against Houston at City of Palms Park.

"He's going to have a pretty much normal day today,'' said Francona. "He feels real good. He's going to be re-evaluated and as long as everything goes OK, he will throw a three-inning simulated up-and-down session in the bullpen Friday and that will keep going toward his next start.

"He'll stay right on his progression, keep his arm strength. He's not facing hitters, but it's kind of the next best thing. It's under a controlled environment, which I think we're comfortable with.''

With Beckett cleared and on his way back to full health, the Red Sox had some fun with the fungo incident which led to his minor concussion.

First, as teammates stretched, Beckett was the last player onto the field at City of Palms Park, and came wearing a white T-shirt over his uniform -- the better,presumably -- for everyone to see him.

Later, the players outfitted staff member Ino Guerrero -- responsible for the mishap thanks to a wayward fungo -- in a neon-colored crossing guard vest and a bright yellow hat.

Bobby Jenks was set to make his Grapefruit League debut. Francona said Jenks and Daniel Bard will sometimes go back-and-forth between the seventh and eighth innings, with no one pitcher assigned to a specific inning.

"We'll go by matchups, availability, usage, who we're facing -- there's a lot of different things,'' said Francona. "How rested the bullpen, how far the starter goes, how far the starter went the day before. But there's no secret - if the game's on the line and he's rested, we want Bard to pitch. That's a weapon. But you can't do that every day.''

The Sox are still waiting on official word on Brent Dlugach, who suffered a dislocated left shoulder Tuesday when he fell, charging a pop bunt.

Dlugach underwent an MRI Wednesday, but the team had to send the test results back to Boston to be properly read.

Felix Doubront, who was shut down almost two weeks ago with soreness in his left elbow, is inching closer to being able to throw again. He's been going through the motions of his delivery in the bullpen.

Doubront is evaluated every day and will be seen by Dr. Tom Gill Friday.

Francona indicated that the Sox are still a week away from their first spring roster cuts. The Red Sox want to get through some split-squad days in the next week -- requiring extra bodies -- before sending anyone out. Also, because minor-league games don't start until the middle of the month, there isn't much point in returning players to the minor-league camp.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

red-sox-rusney-castillo-022417x.jpg

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

Click here for the complete gallery.

 

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.