Beckett Looking At The Long-Term

Josh Beckett hated missing the games against the Athletics in Japan. But he knows he'd hate it even more if he missed extended periods of action in the middle of the season.

"I know what we're trying to do," Beckett told redsox.com Friday after he worked out at the Red Sox' minor league complex in Ft. Myers, FL. "It's not my first go-round. I know it's a long season.

"Like I said two weeks ago, the most important thing is not my April 1 start. It's not my April 10 start. I think exactly what I said [is] ‘It's not my April 10 start, it's my July and August starts.' I know what we're trying to do. We're not trying to win one game here or one game there. We're trying to do bigger things than that."

Beckett, who is on the 15-day disabled list due to back spasms he suffered while warming up for a start against the Marlins March 8, threw in a minor league intrasquad game Thursday and is expected to do so again on Tuesday. The Sox have not ruled out the possibility of activating him to start against the Blue Jays in Toronto Apr. 6, though Beckett said he wouldn't mind making a rehab start in the minor leagues if that's what the Sox want.

"If I need to go to Pawtucket or go to Greenville or whatever to have one more start, we're going to do what's best for the club and what's best for me later on down the road," Beckett said.

As for the Sox' games against he Athletics earlier this week, Beckett said he didn't wake up early enough to catch the pre-dawn first pitch. "I don't get up quite that early," Beckett said. "But I usually saw from the fourth inning on. I think it was weird, actually, watching them play a baseball game that early in the morning. But talking with some of the guys, I guess it was a pretty good experience."

Maybe he can hear about it for himself in nine days.


Three more minor leaguers released: The Sox on Friday released pitcher Adam Blackley, catcher Steve Torrealba and infielder Scott White from minor league camp.

Blackley, whom the Sox signed out of Australia as a non-drafted free agent in 2003, went 3-2 with a 5.63 ERA but struck out 100 in 70 1/3 innings between Single-A Greenville and short-season Single-A Lowell last year. He spent at least part of the last four seasons with a full-season affiliate. Blackley was ranked 28th in Diehard's 2006 prospect issue.

Torrealba, who signed with the Sox as a minor league free agent after spending last year in the Tigers organization, had two hits in 19 at-bats for the Braves from 2001-02. He's also played in the Cardinals and Yankees organizations.

White, whom the Sox selected out of a Georgia high school in the third round of the 2002 draft, hit .256 with 21 homers and 98 RBI last year at Single-A Lancaster. He spent each of the last three seasons with a Sox' high Single-A affiliate. White was ranked 40th in Diehard's 2006 prospect guide.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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