Beckett's ankle improving


Beckett's ankle improving

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Josh Beckett, sidelined with an ankle sprain, couldn't say when he would return to the mound for the Red Sox, but said the ankle has shown a lot of improvement in the last day or so, leaving him optimistic.

Beckett long-tossed Saturday afternoon from a distance of about 120 feet.

"It was more just getting loose and come back in and throw some breaking balls and changeups,'' said Beckett, "and kind of see how it feels pushing off. Because that's been the big issue, with my body weight on it.''

Beckett said the ankle, which forced him from the game Monday, "feels a lot better today. Two days ago, it was pretty rough.''

He wouldn't put a timetable on his return to the rotation, saying: "It's not my decision. The trainer's got to be comfortable with where I am. (But) I don't see it being too much longer.''

"He's doing good,'' said manager Terry Francona. "He's got minimal soreness. We'll continue to re-evlaute. When he pitches, we don't know. But he's going OK.''

Asked if he could envision throwing a between-start bullpen mid-week and taking his next turn next weekend, Beckett said: "I think that sounds reasonable, but like I said, it's not my decision. It's going to be up to them. Obviously, they're going
to have my input and I'm ready to come back whenever it feels good.''

Beckett said he's been able to maintain his arm strength during his downtime by doing normal shoulder exercises and some light throwing.

"We just have to take it day-by-day,'' he cautioned. ''If I come in tomorrow and it's flared back up, this was all for naught.''

Some swelling some exists in the ankle, "which shuts down some of the muscles... The fluid takes up space and whenever you do certain movements, it pinches you.''

Beckett revealed that, when he came off the mound Monday, "it hurt bad,'' and he feared the injury was related to his Achilles tendon, since the discomfort was in the back of the ankle joint.

With the post-season less than three weeks away, Beckett doesn't see this compromising his readiness.

"I'm hoping this isn't a question mark,'' he said. "It needs to be 100 percent whenever I come back. I don't think we're going to (rush it); we're going to test it off the mound first and then figure stuff out.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'


Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.


Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.