Josh Beckett: no apology needed for “lapses in judgment”

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Get ready for some more beer and chicken talk…

While Josh Beckett admitted that “mistakes” were made in the clubhouse last season, he didn’t feel the need to apologize Sunday for his “lapses in judgment.”

Rightly or wrongly, Beckett has been treated as the worst offender or maybe the ringleader in all of the talk surrounding the members of the Red Sox rotation and their behavior in the clubhouse.

“I really can’t control that,” he said. “I’m sure that manifests itself somehow. I can’t control that. “For me, I can only speak for myself here, I think that we had — I had — lapses in judgment, and I can’t speak for everybody else.”

Asked to define the “lapses in judgment,” Beckett replied, “We made mistakes in the clubhouse. That’s about as far as I’ll go talking about the clubhouse.”

Beckett does expect a different atmosphere this year. He said he was distracted at times last year, though that it didn’t affect his preparation.

“I never missed a workout,” he said. “I was ready to pitch every time I pitched. I didn’t execute pitches in my last two starts. I put on a little bit of weight. I don’t have a reason for it, but it happened. I’m looking forward to going forward from here.”

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.

Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.