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.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: