Things are improving quickly for Josh Beckett.
The Red Sox right-hander played long-toss from about 250 feet on Saturday afternoon in Tampa Bay.
He had no trouble striding into his throws and did not appear to be bothered at all by his right ankle, which was sprained this past Monday while the Boston ace was making a start against the Blue Jays.
According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Beckett is hoping to throw a bullpen session next Tuesday or Wednesday with an eye on returning to the Red Sox rotation by the end of the week.
Beckett, 31, has posted a stellar 2.49 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 155/46 K/BB ratio in 173 2/3 innings this season.
This is happening, people.
Earlier we heard Joe Maddon being non-committal about Kyle Schwarber joining the Cubs for the World Series. Now it seems pretty clear that the Cubs are committal indeed: Jon Morosi reports that Schwarber is en route to Cleveland from Arizona on a private jet and that he’s expected to DH in Game 1 tomorrow night.
Schwarber hasn’t played in a game that counted since April 7. His potent bat is could be a windfall for a Cubs team that didn’t have a game-changing option at DH in the American League park.
Schwarber lost the whole season due to a knee injury, but he hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBI in 69 games as a rookie in 2015. His big coming out party was in the playoffs, however, when he hit three homers in five postseason games while going 7-for-13 with two walks in five games.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Indians First Baseman/DH Carlos Santana shagged some flyballs in left field during the Indians’ workout today.
Sure, why not? Santana has played one game in the outfield in his major league career and that was over four years ago, but the Indians will have to play in Chicago without the DH, meaning either losing Santana’s bat or that of Mike Napoli.
It would be up to Terry Francona to decide if that happens, but ultimately I don’t think he’ll make it real and, rather, will just forget about it, because Santana’s defense out there would in no way be smooth.
I’m sorry. I’m sick today and I’m on a lot of cold medicine.