Dice-K injury causes Red Sox to juggle rotation

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The Red Sox planned to go with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester in their doubleheader Wednesday against the Mariners, but after winning the first game with Beckett on the mound, they announced that Lester would be pushed back to Friday as a replacement for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is battling a sore back.
Matsuzaka, who is 2-1 with a 3.64 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break, apparently will miss at least a full turn in the rotation with his latest ailment. He missed the month of April due to neck and back soreness and he served a DL stint in June with a forearm strain.
With Dice-K sidelined, the Red Sox will turn to knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to start tonight. It will be his first start since July 20. His last nine appearances dating back to July 7 have all come in Red Sox losses, and he’s 3-9 for the season.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.