Beckett struck in BP, has concussion symptoms
Red Sox right-hander will be re-evaluated Tuesday by club
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Josh Beckett was in the wrong place at the wrong time during Monday's pregame batting practice. The Red Sox righty was standing in short left field when he was struck on the side of the head by a batted ball. After being examined by a doctor at City of Palms Park, Beckett was diagnosed with mild concussion symptoms.
The Red Sox sent Beckett home so he could rest. The club will update his condition on Tuesday. Beckett was originally scheduled to start on Thursday against the Phillies, but Red Sox manager Terry Francona said it's too early to know whether that schedule might have to be altered.
"He's got a headache," Francona said. "He's been evaluated already. We'll get somebody to look at him tonight, and then, when he comes in [Tuesday], we'll check on him again to see what level, if any, of a workout he could do -- or should do."
Beckett was clearly jolted when hit by the ball. He went down to one knee, and teammates called for the training staff. When Beckett walked off the field, his hand was covering his head.
2010 Spring Training - Boston Red Sox
News & Features
- Ortiz, Drew move closer to joining active roster
- Worth noting
- Farrell has 'successful' first camp as Sox manager
- Red Sox lineup may be altered on daily basis
- Doubront, Red Sox close spring slate on high note
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
The ball that hit Beckett came off the fungo bat of batting practice instructor Ino Guerrero.
Beckett gave up a run over two innings on Sunday night against the Twins in his first start of the Grapefruit League season.
"He was fungoing a ball back in the infield and hit him in the head," Francona said. "I think it hit him in the temple. Bet you it felt like a bolt of lightning. That's really not what you're expecting. It's just a fluke thing."
Jenks to debut Thursday
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Bobby Jenks will make his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform on Thursday afternoon when he faces the Phillies in a home game at City of Palms Park.
Boston pitching coach Curt Young recommended bringing Jenks -- who experienced elbow problems last season -- along at a little slower clip than the other pitchers this spring. The righty faced hitters for the second time in three days on the back field before Monday's game.
Jenks threw roughly 25 pitches.
"I felt real good," said Jenks. "Changeup is definitely getting there. Curveball is almost there. Threw a couple of good ones. A couple not so good, which is pretty typical for me right now this early. As long as the changeup is good, I'll work something off my fastball just to give hitters a different look. We're right on track."
As a veteran of six seasons, Jenks will take Thursday's game for what it is.
"You know, pretty standard still," Jenks said. "I'll be looking forward to getting in a game come April. Right now, still, even on Thursday, I'm going to go out there and work on things. Even though it is a game situation, it's still Spring Training, and there's still a lot of things to work on and get better before the season comes."
Ellsbury appears on track to lead off
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though the Red Sox have a lot of options with their new-look lineup, it still seems likely that Jacoby Ellsbury will emerge as the team's leadoff hitter on Opening Day.
The center fielder has led off in his first two starts of Spring Training, including Monday, when fellow speedster Carl Crawford was also in the lineup.
Manager Terry Francona went with a 1-2-3 combo of Ellsbury-Dustin Pedroia-Crawford.
The only reason Francona would consider hitting Ellsbury lower in the lineup at the start of the season is because of all the time he missed in 2010.
What does Francona need to see from Ellsbury this spring to bat him leadoff on April 1 in Texas?
"Just look ready," Francona said. "He came into camp swinging the bat way ahead of where I expected him to be. He's strong, he's obviously spent a lot of time getting ready. The ball is coming off his bat great, so that's the good news. I'm just saying, he missed probably 500 at-bats. If it looks like maybe that one less at-bat a game will help him, that's what we would do. There's no way to scientifically know. But we'll watch his at-bats."
In 2009, Ellsbury's last full season, he hit .301 with a .355 on-base percentage and stole 70 bases, operating primarily out of the leadoff spot.
"Well, it's been interrupted because of his health," Francona said when asked about Ellsbury's evolution as a leadoff man. "Yeah, I mean, he's really starting to grow into it. At times, we'd hit him down in the order just to kind of protect him a little bit. But I think we've always said, when he's leading off and hitting well, that's probably our best lineup. I don't think I ever disagreed with it. There were times when maybe he wasn't ready to be there so it didn't seem like it made sense."
Dice-K taking nothing for granted
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though Daisuke Matsuzaka, barring an injury, is certain to be in Boston's starting rotation again this season, the righty appears to be creating an internal competition.
Matsuzaka gave up a hit and a run over two innings in his Grapefruit League debut on Monday.
"At this stage, there's no promise to be a part of the rotation," said Matsuzaka through an interpreter. "So in order to solidify the spot in the rotation, I'd like to keep the good, healthy conditions and show good results during this spring season."
Even though pitching coach Curt Young made it clear recently that Matsuzaka will be one of the club's five starters when camp breaks, the pitcher will take nothing for granted.
"It's actually very important for me to join the competition," Matsuzaka said. "It's good to be at a competitive level and just to play well with other teammates and hope to be in the rotation."
Matsuzaka's lone blemish on Monday was a solo homer off the bat of the Twins' Jason Kubel.
"Very good velocity," manager Terry Francona said. "That was exciting to see that, especially early on. He was very aggressive with his fastball. He had some good life to it. I was excited about that."
Miller's Grapefruit debut 'extremely exciting'
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- What kind of weapon could Andrew Miller become for the Red Sox if he starts to realize all his promise? It was on display Monday afternoon, when the lefty mowed down all three Twins hitters he faced, striking out two. Miller threw seven pitches, all for strikes.
"Extremely exciting," said manager Terry Francona. "That was really fun to watch. That was about as good an inning as you're ever going to see."
Selected sixth overall by the Tigers in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Miller was dealt to the Marlins in a blockbuster deal involving Miguel Cabrera in December '07. He struggled with Florida.
The Red Sox acquired Miller cheaply this winter -- for lefty Dustin Richardson. They then non-tendered him and re-signed him to a Minor League deal.
Watching him in the early stages of camp, the Red Sox have been very excited. Miller is 6-foot-7 and fires the ball in the mid-90s.
He was groomed as a starting pitcher and still projects in that role. But for the short term, he could be useful out of Boston's bullpen.
"We just want to get him in a comfort zone and try to simplify it as much as we can," Francona said. "Let him throw out of the arm slot that he throws when he plays a natural catch in the outfield, things like that. That was exciting to watch."