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June 17, 2008
By STEVEN KRASNER
Journal Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA -- The injury to Bartolo Colon (back) forced the Red Sox to make some alterations in its starting rotation.
Some of the changes already had been planned, notably extra rest for Josh Beckett, but Colon's injury likely has spared rookie right-hander Justin Masterson a return trip to Pawtucket.
Boston enjoys a day off on Thursday, making it easier to give Beckett a breather of sorts. So the starters for this weekend's series at Fenway Park against the Cardinals will be Tim Wakefield (Friday night), Daisuke Matsuzaka (Saturday afternoon) and Jon Lester (Sunday).
Matsuzaka will be taken off the disabled list for his start in the 4 o'clock game, and Lester will slide up into Beckett's spot for the Sunday outing. Lester, who starts Tuesday night against the Phillies, will be pitching on normal four days' rest.
Beckett will pitch Monday night in the opener of a three-game series against Arizona at Fenway. He'll be pitching on seven days' rest, his last outing having come last Sunday in Cincinnati.
Manager Terry Francona said that there is nothing wrong with Beckett physically, but that the Red Sox want to make sure they give their pitchers extra rest whenever possible to keep them stronger down the stretch.
"We really think that helps," said Francona.
Masterson will pitch the second game of the series against Arizona, with Wakefield pitching the finale next Wednesday night. And if the Sox want to make any further alterations of the rotation after that series, they will have another day off, June 26, to use to their advantage in that regard.
Posted by Steven Krasner at 5:03 PM | Permalink