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Sox hope Beckett will miss only one start

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  May 2, 2012 05:01 PM

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Josh Beckett has what the Red Sox are calling soreness in the right lat, a muscle behind the shoulder. So he will skip his start Saturday. Bobby Valentine and Ben Cherington said they expect Beckett to miss only the one start and not to go on the disabled list. But obviously this bears watching.

This was predictable given Beckett's 126 pitches Saturday in Chicago.

Other notes:

The Sox signed 31-year-old Mark Prior to a minor league deal after watching him throw in Fort Myers for a few weeks. He is coming off groin surgery.

Prior has not pitched in the majors since 2006 when he was with the Cubs. He got in 11 minor league games for the Yankees last season and pitched well before injuries ended that comeback attempt.

This is a virtually no-cost signing for the Red Sox.

Carl Crawford shagged some balls in the outfield today. But he is not yet throwing or swinging a bat. He is due for an exam on his left elbow next week and if cleared, could start swinging a bat.

If you're still trying to figure out the roster, Jose Iglesias is still here. Kevin Youkilis (DL) and Lars Anderson (optioned) are out and Will Middlebrooks and Clayton Mortensen were added.

Middlebrooks started the day with No. 83. Now he's No. 64. Iglesias is wearing No. 58. Middlebrooks's close friend, Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett, will be at the game tonight.

Jacoby Ellsbury is making progress with his range of motion. He said, "I don't know," when asked if he was close to baseball activities.

The Red Sox are scheduled for 20 games in as many days starting Friday. The powers that be are discussing whether to go with a six-man rotation given the lack of days off. This would serve to give Aaron Cook a spot in the rotation and help control the innings of Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront.

Then again, it also would leave them an arm short in the bullpen. Nothing has been decided at this point.

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