Josh Beckett cleared to return from concussion, but won’t pitch until next week


Josh Beckett passed a series of brain function tests this morning after displaying “mild concussion symptoms” when struck on the head by an errant ball during batting practice Monday and has been cleared to resume light activities, but Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports that the Red Sox have scratched him from tomorrow’s scheduled start.

Terry Francona explained that Beckett “will do some biking and some light throwing and see how he progresses from there” before the Red Sox line up his next outing.

And in a sign that the Red Sox aren’t fretting too much about Beckett’s status, Francona joked with reporters that the brain function tests were “hard for him because he’s illiterate … even on a good day, it’s probably not real good.” Given the latest news about Justin Morneau’s now eight-month recovery from a concussion suffered in July, the Red Sox and Beckett should feel very fortunate.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.