CHICAGO -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that if this were the postseason, Josh Beckett could still be pitching through his current right shoulder inflammation. But, with more than half of the season still in front of them, the team felt that the best course with regards to the injured pitcher -- who was going to miss at least one start -- was to instead to commit to having him miss at least two outings and put him on the disabled list.
"He’s got some inflammation that’s got to calm down and take the time, whatever time it takes to do it," said Valentine. "We’re going to take the conservative route."
Beckett is 4-7 with a 4.14 ERA, and has thrown at least seven innings in each of his last six starts and in eight total this year (a number that is tied with Justin Verlander for second in the American League). Valentine alluded at one point to the idea that the pitcher faces a "strength issue" in his shoulder that did not exist earlier in the season (most notably, when he had a start skipped in early May due to stiffness in his lat muscle), and suggested that it was possible that the pitcher could get an MRI as a prelude to a pain-killing injection to diminish the inflammation.
"I don’t know that there’s any tests that necessarily have to get done. They have a pretty good handle on it now," said Valentine. "If he’s going to get a shot or anything, maybe they’ll do an MRI just so they know the right place to put it in."
Valentine also suggested that Beckett could receive a cortisone shot in his right thumb, the same digit in which he received a cortisone injection prior to the start of the season. The team had planned to have Beckett get another cortisone shot during the All-Star break, but given that he will be sidelined for at least two starts, it might take advantage of his current disabled list stint to have the thumb addressed now.
"It’s an issue that will be dealt with here. I don’t know if they’re going to do it during this two weeks. I would think we should. That was on the burner for the All-Star break. It’s a situation," Valentine said of the thumb, suggesting that "dealing with" the thumb could mean "maybe a shot, however they do those things.”
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