The Boston Red Sox have another key player heading to the DL. Starting pitcher Josh Beckett was placed on the 15 day DL before the game last night (Saturday) with inflammation in his right shoulder. Left handed reliever Franklin Morales will make the start tonight in place of Beckett. The Red Sox have recalled reliever Clayton Mortensen to take Beckett’s spot on the roster
Josh Beckett’s injury does not appear to be serious and this trip to the DL appears to be mostly cautionary. When asked about whether the injury would keep Beckett off the mound in a World Series game, manager Bobby Valentine said, “”Oh, he’d pitch Game 1.” The issues with his thumb that have lingered since Spring Training may also be something of a factor in this assignment. This will be Beckett’s fifth trip to the DL since he joined the Red Sox in 2006. It has become almost routine for Beckett to sit out for a few weeks mid-season with one issue or another, but he has still managed to average 185 innings a season in his time inBoston.
The injury comes at an unfortunate time for Beckett. After struggling in several starts early in the year, Beckett had found his stuff again and pitched at least seven innings in each of his last six starts. In the past month he has a 3.19 ERA and a 2.25 FIP in 36 2/3 innings. I have long suspected that the Red Sox have been playing games with the DL and their pitchers, especially Josh Beckett. The team may prefer to have Beckett strong for 29-30 starts a season rather than pressing him for 33-34. A quick mid-season trip to the DL with a vague injury is a convenient way of filling his roster spot while he rests. However, this season, the Red Sox are in last in theALand struggling to stay around .500 until key players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew Bailey and Carl Crawford return. To sit Beckett now doesn’t make much sense. While the injury may not be serious, it probably is something of real concern.