Wakefield not in rotation — for now

As all parties expected, Tim Wakefield will not pitch again in five days as a typical part of the rotation. But he felt well enough today after last night’s start that the Red Sox believe he will be able to provide the same service as last night, giving the Sox a competitive start while allowing the other members of their rotation an extra day of rest.

“You have a normal cycle for the next start,” manager Terry Francona said. “I don’t know if he’s going to be on that, because he’s more at a point where we’re trying to pick our spots with him. He’s aware of that. He can’t go every days. That’s not realistic. But I don’t think he’s walking around looking worse, which is good.”

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Without Wakefield, the Sox will return to a five-man rotation. After Paul Byrd goes tonight, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz will finish out the Royals series. The weekend series in New York is set up to be pitched by Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Byrd.

The Red Sox feel comfortable with where Wakefield stands.

“We’ve been through this with him a ton,” Francona said, “We’ll monitor him all week, and we’ll try to see how he reacts. We’ll check our other pitchers and try to fit him in where it works best for everybody.”

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