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The timetable on Beckett is lengthy

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  June 24, 2010 12:45 PM

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Here's the big-name player the Red Sox are going to add to the roster right around the trade deadline:

A righthanded pitcher named Josh Beckett.

The Sox laid out the schedule for Beckett yesterday. He's going to throw a simulated game on Saturday and then face hitters on Thursday, July 1. That's a day off, so perhaps the Sox will import some hitters from the minors.

From there, Beckett would start his five-day routine in the minors. Terry Francona said he would need at least three rehab starts, maybe four.

So the rehab games would be July 6, July 11 and July 16. That would put him ready to join the Sox on or about July 21 or July 26 depending on whether he needs three or four outings in the minors.

Barring some sort of change to that schedule, Beckett will have gone 63-68 days between major league starts. That's nearly 10 weeks, which seems like an awfully long time for a muscular problem in the back. The Sox and Beckett insist he had no structural damage. But you do have to wonder if there was something else going on. Very few teams are completely forthright when it comes to injuries.

Regardless, if Beckett comes back healthy and is able to pitch like the player who command a $68 million extension in April, the Sox will have made a significant addition at the start of the pennant race.

As for Jacoby Ellsbury, today marks two weeks since he left the team in Cleveland to be examined in Los Angeles. He remains at the Athletes' Performance center in Arizona and is scheduled to be evaluated at the end of this week.

There are no indication when he will rejoin the team. But it seems unlikely it will be any time before the All-Star break given that he last played a baseball game on May 24 exactly one month ago.

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