With Terry Francona setting his starters today for Games 1 and 2 in Japan, the Sox' pitching plans for the start of the season are beginning to come into a bit more focus.
We still don't know when Josh Beckett will return from a sore back. What we do know, however, is that he will miss the Japan trip and is likely to miss the two regular season games in Oakland that follow it.
Here's a schedule of the Sox' hectic start to the season, along with starting pitcher projections. Those with asterisks next to them are educated guesses at this point. None of this is set in stone. Heck, it's not even written in ink, particularly where Beckett's return is concerned.
March 21: Red Sox vs. Hanshin Tigers (Exhibition in Japan) -- Clay Buchholz
March 23: Red Sox vs. Yomiuri Giants (Exhibition in Japan) -- Tim Wakefield
March 25: Red Sox vs. Athletics (Regular season opener in Japan) -- Daisuke Matsuzaka
March 26: Red Sox vs. Athletics (Regular season game in Japan) -- Jon Lester
March 28: Red Sox at Dodgers (Exhibition) -- ???
March 29: Red Sox at Dodgers (Exhibition @ LA Coliseum) -- ???
March 30: Red Sox at Dodgers (Exhibition) -- ???
April 1: Red Sox at Athletics (Regular season) -- Daisuke Matsuzaka *
April 2: Red Sox at Athletics (Regular season) -- Jon Lester *
April 4: Red Sox at Blue Jays (Regular season) -- Clay Buchholz *
April 5: Red Sox at Blue Jays (Regular season) -- Tim Wakefield *
April 6: Red Sox at Blue Jays (Regular season) -- ???
April 8: Red Sox vs. Tigers (Opening Day at Fenway) -- ???