Early Sox notes: Plenty of potential replacements for Beckett

Early Sox notes: Plenty of potential replacements for Beckett
March 1, 2011, 6:12 pm
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By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- If Josh Beckett is unable to make his scheduled start Thursday against Philadelphia -- and at this point, that seems a given, since Beckett hasn't been cleared yet to return to physical activity -- the Red Sox will have no shortage of options to take his place.

"Curt Young, pitching coach is going through our pitching," said Terry Francona. "Obviously, we have a ton of pitching. And I think he's writing it in like Beckett is not pitching, just to make sure we're all set. We have plenty of pitching. I don't know who would be the starter, but we'll figure it out."

With Beckett's timetable for return still uncertain, the Sox could have Beckett throw a side session Thursday, or delay his return to the mound in game action by a day or two.

Alfredo Aceves, who was scheduled to pitch an inning in relief Tuesday, will start for a split-squad team in Sarasota against Baltimore Saturday.

Aceves has the ability to pitch in relief or start, giving the Sox some flexibility.

While Aceves pitched against the Orioles, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield will pitch in Fort Myers against Florida the same afternoon.

The Sox are scheduled to face Tim Hudson when the Atlanta Braves visit City of Palms Park Wednesday. On Thursday, Cole Hamels will start for visiting Philadelphia . . . Bobby Jenks will make his spring debut Thursday against the Phils . . . Adrian Gonzalez didn't swing off a tee or take flips Tuesday, but is expected to progress to the point where he's taking swings off a pitching machine "coming up this week,'' said Francona. "He'll have a week of that before he (takes live BP)."

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