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Francona confirms Beckett not going to Japan

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  March 16, 2008 12:05 PM

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To nobody's surprise, manager Terry Francona has confirmed that Sox ace Josh Beckett will not make the trip to Japan, but will remain in Fort Myers to continue to recover from a sore back and work his way back to the mound.

Jackie MacMullan reported from Bradenton, where the Sox take on the Pirates this afternoon, that Francona was, "Very pleased. He (Beckett) started out throwing at 60 feet and progressed to 75 with no concerns, which was really what we were shooting for. He'll start ramping it up a little bit from here. The best case scenario - I say the best case scenario - is Thursday will be a side day.''

"He tolerated everything he was supposed to. John (Farrell) was real excited. The ball came out of his hands real nice. ''

Francona said about Beckett staying back, "It's not the right thing to do (to send him to Japan). Everything we say, we need to live by.''

Asked about a target date for Beckett's return, Francona said, "When he's ready to pitch. He'll be ready when he's ready.''

Tito wasn't willing yet to reveal the pitching rotation for Japan.

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