ESPNews reports the Boston Red Sox placed starting pitcher Josh Beckett (elbow) on the 15-day disabled list Friday, Aug. 29. The move is retroactive to Aug. 18.
In a related move, the Red Sox recalled catcher David Ross from Triple-A Pawtucket; they will carry three catchers.
Beckett has suffered from right elbow inflammation and was scratched from his Aug. 29 start. He visited with orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Alabama, and test results came back clean. He could be back in the starting rotation Friday, Sept. 5, the first possible day he could be activated from the DL.
Beckett last pitched Aug. 17, when the Toronto Blue Jays tallied eight hits and eight runs in just 2 1/3 innings against him. Beckett initially indicated that he was experiencing numbness in two fingers of his pitching hand and as a result had his scheduled start Tuesday, Aug. 26, pushed back.
Beckett has a 4.34 ERA with an 11-9 record this season while tallying 145 strikeouts and 30 walks. He also has a WHIP of 1.23 in 149 1/3 innings pitched in 2008. Beckett has struggled in the last two months, posting a 5.74 ERA in July and a 5.82 ERA in August. Opponents have hit .314 against him since the All-Star break.
The Red Sox have already moved starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka up a day to replace Beckett in his scheduled start Aug. 29 against the Chicago White Sox. Right-hander David Pauley is scheduled to toe the rubber Saturday, Aug. 30. The 25-year-old went 14-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 25 starts at Triple-A Pawtucket this year but has a 10.38 ERA in one major league start. In their current setup, the Sox won't need a permanent rotation replacement if Beckett returns next week.
The good news is there does not appear to be any serious damage to Beckett's elbow. He should be stashed on a DL spot or on the bench. It appears that the team will be extremely cautious with Beckett's arm if he doesn't heal in time to make the Sept. 5 start. That outing would come on the road against the Texas Rangers, one of the most dangerous offenses in the majors. Fantasy owners should refrain from pitching Beckett if he returns for that game, especially when you consider his second-half troubles.
Ross, who was recently acquired as a free agent, does not figure to see much playing time since he will be the third catcher on the active roster. Sox captain Jason Varitek is the starter, and the team uses Kevin Cash behind the plate with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Ross' fantasy value remains extremely minimal, and he should only be considered if you are desperate in AL-only leagues.
Pauley should only be looked at in AL-only leagues, but that would be risky considering he's starting against the offensively potent White Sox. He would either be sent down or return to the bullpen when Beckett returns, so he doesn't offer much long-term value.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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