Josh Beckett returns from concussion with good outing against Astros

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Josh Beckett shook off the mild concussion he sustained last Monday to toss 3.2 innings of one-run ball against the Astros today, striking out four batters.

In addition to avoiding any post-concussion symptoms Beckett also told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that his back problems have improved after limiting him to just 21 starts last season:

I feel different walking around. More stability than anything. It’s not like it feels stronger, but more stable. Balanced is a good word for it. Balance is huge in pitching. It keeps me healthy.

Obviously getting healthy is key for Beckett, but even setting aside the injury issues his 116/46 K/BB ratio in 128 innings last season suggested he pitched much better than the ugly 5.78 ERA would indicate. Based on his strikeout, walk, and ground-ball numbers Beckett posted a solid 4.01 xFIP.

Angels sign Chris Young to a one-year deal

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The Angels went on a Chris binge yesterday. In addition to signing Chris Carter to a minor league deal they signed Chris Young — the outfielder Chris Young, not the pitcher Chris Young — to a one-year contract. Young will make $2 million with incentives that could make the pact more valuable.

Young, 34, hit .235/.322/.387 with seven home runs in a part-time role last season with the Red Sox. He’s historically been a plus defender and has handled all three outfield positions in the past, but he’s really a corner guy/platoon DH these days. Not that the Angels need a center fielder. Rumor has it that they have a pretty decent one.