Mild concussion may force Beckett to miss start


Mild concussion may force Beckett to miss start

By Sean McAdam

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For the last few years, Josh Beckett has had difficulty staying healthy throughout spring training.

In 2008, he had a muscle pull in his back that prohibited him from accompanying the Red Sox to Japan and delayed the start of his season. Then, in 2010, he was felled by the flu and missed about 10 days.

The bad luck continued Monday morning when Beckett was struck on the left side of his head by a fungo hit by staff member Ino Guerrero during batting practice.

"I bet you it felt like a bolt of lightning," said Terry Francona. "That's not really what you're expecting. It was just a fluke thing."

Beckett dropped to a knee and a team trainer came out to attend to him. He walked off the field under his own power.

Beckett was later examined by a team physician and was diagnosed with mild concussion syndromes. He was sent home to rest and will be evaluated again Tuesday.

"He's got a headache," said Francona. "He's been evaluated already. We'll get somebody to look at him tonight and then when he comes in tomorrow, we'll check on him again to see what level, if any, of a workout he can do or should do."

Beckett had been set to pitch Thursday against Philadelphia, but Francona said he was unsure whether he could make that scheduled outing.

Beckett watched the first two innings of the Red Sox' 7-6 win over the Minnesota Twins from the dugout before being sent home by Francona.

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

Extended podcast with David Ortiz on his career, PED's, the Marathon bombing and more


Extended podcast with David Ortiz on his career, PED's, the Marathon bombing and more

David Ortiz offers thoughtful answers and insight in this interview with Sean McAdam touching on his beginning with the Red Sox, the Boston Marathon bombings, showing up on a PED list, his impact in the dugout, and more.

You can also see pieces of the interview on CSN Friday at 6:30pm on a special Arbella Early Edition with Gary Tanguay and Lou Merloni.

RELATED Special Video Series - "Big Papi - An Oral History" from CSN

Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"


Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"

NEW YORK -- Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a terrific 2015, his second full season in the big leagues.

He finished second in the American League batting race, established himself as a solid defender at short and generally showed immense promise.

The only thing he didn't do was show much home run power, limited to just seven homers.

This past spring, both manager John Farrell and Chili Davis expressed confidence that the home runs would come, and that they would come organically.

And so they have. In Thursday night's loss to the New York Yankees, a solo homer in the fifth by Bogaerts represented the only Red Sox run of the night in a 5-1 loss. It also gave Bogaerts 21 homers for the year, exactly triple his output from a year ago.

"The maturity is clearly taking hold," said John Farrell of Bogaerts' growth. "You start to get a couple thousand at-bats at the major league level, you're starting to understand your swing, you're picking out certain counts in which to leverage a little bit more. He's been able to do that.

"Home runs are up across the board. But with Xander in particular, he's physically maturing and he's maturing as a major league player as well."

Bogaerts took the advise of Davis and others and didn't set out to try to hit more homers this year. He knew they would come in time.

"Maybe not this quick," he said of the big increase, "but probably in the future, yeah. That's what I did in the minor leagues, so it's kind of something that I thought might translate to the big leagues, too."

Bogaerts is hard-pressed to put his finger on any on factor to explain the big uptick. After all, he didn't change his swing or his stance.

Rather, the homers came as a result of him understanding himself better as a hitter and consistently taking the right approach at the plate.

"It's just (a matter of) taking good swings in good counts," he offered. "Sometimes, you're looking for one. But overall, it's just being a more mature hitter and looking for the right spots to pick and choose."

It hasn't hurt that he's surrounded by quality hitters in the Red Sox lineup, with Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia ahead of him earlier in the year, and now Pedrioa ahead of him and David Ortiz behind him.

In addition to seeing better pitches because of who's surrounding him, Bogaerts has also benefitted from listening to Ortiz, who watches his at-bats and offers advice when called for.

Still, most of the credit belongs to Bogaerts himself, who has grown into his power naturally -- just as his manager and hitting coach forecast.