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Josh Beckett is suffering from "right lat stiffness, tightness" after throwing 126 pitches on Sunday to match his career high, which he last logged May 20, 2004. The Boston Red Sox will start Aaron Cook in his place Saturday.
Boston either had to call up Cook or let him go because of an opt-out clause in his contract. They were initially planning on using him out of their beleaguered 'pen. Even if he were to fall into a permanent rotation gig, Cook is merely AL-only, innings-eating fodder that shouldn't get long-term fantasy love.
Bobby Valentine had Beckett and Jon Lester (122 pitches Saturday) stretch out because the team's off-day on Thursday will schedule every SP for a rest. Though Bobby V hopes Beckett can return next week, this puts us on alert because of the right-hander's injury history (albeit less so in recent years). Lat issues can linger, and the risk factor for further damage is raised for anyone who throws that many offerings for the first time in nearly eight years.
If Beckett seems sluggish after he returns or must spend more time on the pine, we'll know why.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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