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Red Sox Notebook

Beckett to miss his next scheduled start

Shoulder soreness not considered serious

Josh Beckett could hit the DL with inflammation in his shoulder joint. Josh Beckett could hit the DL with inflammation in his shoulder joint. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press)
By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / June 16, 2012
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CHICAGO - Josh Beckett has been scratched from his start on Sunday night against the Cubs because of a sore shoulder.

The Red Sox are saying Beckett has inflammation in the joint. Beckett did not shed any light on his condition, saying he would speak to reporters on Saturday.

Manager Bobby Valentine does not believe the injury is serious but said Beckett would probably be examined further. A baseball source said Friday night that if Beckett did go on the disabled list, he should recover within the 15 days.

“Training room thinks that it’s best that he rests it a little,’’ said Valentine. “He may get some tests. I think they want to do a baseline [test] and figure out where we are with that whole situation. So there may be a test.’’

Beckett is 4-7 with a 4.14 ERA in 12 starts. He pitched 15 innings in his last two starts and showed no apparent signs of injury.

“For now,’’ Valentine said when asked if Beckett would stay on the roster. “Don’t think it’s serious. He’ll be pitching again, that’s for sure.’’

Beckett missed a start May 5 because of a strained lat muscle behind his shoulder.

Franklin Morales, who last started a major league game in 2009, will start in Beckett’s place.

Morales (0-1, 3.04) has been used in long relief in his last two appearances, going 4 1/3 and then three innings, and not allowing any runs. He has not thrown more than 52 pitches in a game this year.

Old friends

A crowd of photographers gathered around Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein during batting practice when he strolled over to the Red Sox’ side of the field.

The atmosphere was cordial before the Cubs beat the Red Sox, 3-0. Epstein, the former Sox general manager, spoke at length to Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz, two players he drafted. Kevin Youkilis, another Epstein favorite, was in the conversation, too.

Former Red Sox executives Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod were flanking Epstein. They were once Epstein lieutenants in Boston before leaving the organization for San Diego. They fled the Padres for the Cubs when Epstein put the band back together last fall.

Valentine shook hands with Epstein on the field. Red Sox president Larry Lucchino, Epstein’s onetime mentor and later his foil, was at the park but was not on the field at the same time as Epstein.

Sox owner John Henry was in the ballpark, too. Former Sox manager Terry Francona will be on hand Sunday as part of the ESPN broadcast crew.

There’s enough drama and dark secrets in the air at Wrigley this weekend to fill a Russian novel.

“It’s one of those things where you can’t wait for it to come and you can’t wait for it to be over, either,’’ Epstein said. “Hopefully, three good games, we can get a couple of wins, and move on. It will be great to see everybody.’’

Epstein has already made a trade with the Red Sox, swapping outfielder Marlon Byrd for righthander Michael Bowden in April. Both players have since been designated for assignment. Epstein said he speaks to Sox GM Ben Cherington frequently and further deals are possible.

“It always makes it easier to do a deal when you have a good relationship with the other party,’’ Epstein said.

Epstein tried to deflect the attention being paid to him.

“It’s not as much about me, I don’t think,’’ he said. “Any time you’re with the Red Sox and get to go to a place like Wrigley Field, it’s a special experience to see a ballpark like this and play a team you don’t get to play and all the fans come out.’’

Ross delayed

Cody Ross is with Triple A Pawtucket in Buffalo but will not start his rehabilitation assignment until Sunday. The outfielder, who is coming back from a fracture in his left foot, had hoped to start playing on Friday. Valentine said he didn’t know why Ross was being held back.

Draft picks sign

The Red Sox have signed fourth-round draft pick Ty Buttrey, a righthander from Providence High in Charlotte, N.C., to a $1.3 million bonus.

Buttrey turned down a scholarship to Arkansas to turn professional.

The team announced 10 other signings, several of which were previously reported by the Globe, including righthanders Pat Light (supplemental first round) and Jamie Callahan (second round).

Light received $1 million and Callahan $600,000, according to Baseball America.

The Sox saved money for Buttrey by signing fifth-round pick Mike Augliera, a senior from Binghamton University, for $25,000. Another senior, University of Portland righthander Kyle Kraus, received $1,000 despite going in the seventh round. The same was true for first baseman Mike Minnich of Shepherd College, the eighth-round pick.

Under the new draft bonus system, teams have a set pool for their first 12 picks and face hefty penalties for exceeding that. The Sox and other teams circumvented the system by drafting non-prospects in some early slots and paying them small bonuses.

Catcher Miguel Rodriguez (36th round) also signed. He is the son of minor league hitting coordinator Victor Rodriguez and the brother of Sox scout Victor Rodriguez Jr.

Low profile

Massachusetts native Conan O’Brien was at Wrigley. The TBS talk show host sent out a Twitter message during the game that he was in witness protection because the Sox were trailing . . . Scott Podsednik was 2 for 4 with a walk and two steals. He is 9 of his last 22 . . . Daniel Nava, who missed four games with a sore left hand, pinch hit in the ninth and struck out looking with two runners on. Valentine preferred Nava against Carlos Marmol instead of Will Middlebrooks because Nava was hitting .344 against righthanders . . . The Sox are 4-6 in interleague games . . . Mark Melancon threw a scoreless ninth inning. He has pitched twice since returning from Pawtucket and retired five of the six batters he has faced . . . Scott Atchison dropped his ERA to 1.29 with a perfect eighth inning . . . Pitching coach Bob McClure missed his seventh game attending to an illness in his family.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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