By Sean McAdam
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam
The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.
In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal.
"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."
After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.
"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."
The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.
"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."
Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning? Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.