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Josh Beckett getting exam but is expected to make his first start

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 2, 2012 11:25 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. Josh Beckett has a thumb injury that is being checked out Monday in San Antonio. But manager Bobby Valentine said he "totally" expects Beckett to start against the Detroit Tigers Saturday.

Alfredo Aceves told reporters this morning that Valentine told him to be prepared to start Saturday and in the home opener April 13 in case Beckett is unavailable.

"[Valentine] said Josh Beckett has an injury in his thumb. That's what he said and if he doesn't start the second game, I will start the second game and the first game at home," Aceves said. "And then he said, 'For now you're going to be in the bullpen.' "

Beckett threw a lengthy bullpen session Sunday and did not miss any of his starts this spring. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 19 innings against major league competition.

"He threw 100 pitches yesterday and felt great, hit location," Valentine said. "He's had a little situation that he's getting taken care of today just for peace of mind."

Beckett is expected to join the team in Detroit.

"Real good today," Valentine said when asked his level of confidence in Beckett starting Game 2. "From all the reports that we got after yesterday and he said he felt really good. I talked to the trainers and Bob [McClure, the pitching coach]. ... It seemed like everything was fine."

Valentine said Beckett has had a "a little history" with his thumb.

"I think we're covered whatever happens. But the good news is in his 100 pitches yesterday he felt terrific," Valentine said.

It was learned Sunday that closer Andrew Bailey has a thumb injury and may be headed to the disabled list. He will be in Boston Monday to be examined.

Aceves has worked as a starter all spring but did not get a spot in the rotation. Aceves is not too happy about that.

According to Aceves, Valentine told him that Felix Doubront made the rotation because he's lefthanded and that the organization wanted Daniel Bard to get the other spot.

"So I got no chance. It don't matter how good you throw, you're still not going to pitch," Aceves said.

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