Josh Beckett injures back taking batting practice

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Yesterday afternoon the Red Sox announced that they were pushing Josh Beckett’s next start back from Wednesday versus the Blue Jays to Friday versus the Tigers, which also put him in line to miss the Yankees next week after giving up nine runs against them in his last outing.
At the time the move was not made because of an injury, but then just a few hours later Beckett strained his back while preparing for interleague play by taking batting practice in an indoor batting cage. He’ll undergo tests today to determine his status and in the meantime Tim Wakefield will slide back into the rotation Wednesday.
Beckett’s pushed-back start is now up in the air, although some extra time off may not be so bad given his 7.46 ERA and need to “refine his delivery” with pitching coach John Farrell. His peripheral numbers aren’t nearly as awful as his ERA, so assuming the back issues aren’t serious he’s a good bet to get on track.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.