Report: Beckett To Miss Red Sox Opener In JapanBut the story under that headline (which comes via ESPN's Jayson Stark) is not as definitive.
Terry Francona: "I don't think we know [for sure] yet. But we're certainly not going to rush him back to pitch a game March 24 if he's not ready."
Beckett has pitched only five innings this spring, two against Boston College and three against a Twins split-squad. As Stark notes:
[H]e never made it past his warmup pitches last Saturday, hasn't thrown since and doesn't even have a schedule to resume throwing yet. So the Red Sox clearly aren't even focusing on Japan for him anymore. They're likely shooting now for either April 1 or 2 in Oakland, or April 4-6 in Toronto.It makes sense that the Red Sox don't want to annouce anything publicly this early, but I can't see any reason why they would take the risk with Beckett in Tokyo.
Jeff Goldberg, Courant:
With Josh Beckett's back worsening Monday and Daisuke Matsuzaka's wife due to give birth later this month, [Jon] Lester could be emerging as the season-opening starter March 25 in Tokyo.Starting the last game of 2007 and the first game of 2008 ...?