Josh Beckett throws simulated game, nears rehab assignment

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Out since mid-May with a strained lower back, Josh Beckett threw a two-inning, 41-pitch simulated game today at Fenway Park and reported no problems.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Beckett could be cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Tuesday, but the Red Sox still don’t expect him back in the rotation until after the All-Star break.
Beckett had a 7.29 ERA in 45.2 innings before being shut down, including back-to-back ugly outings against the Yankees, so the Red Sox will no doubt want to see him put together several solid starts in the minors and he’ll also need some time to stretch out his arm (and pitch count).

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”