TORONTO -- Trying to keep their pitching in the best shape possible down the stretch, the Red Sox will take a conservative path with lefty Erik Bedard and skip his next start, which would have been on Friday in St. Petersburg vs. the Rays.
The Red Sox have five other starters at the moment in Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Tim Wakefield and Andrew Miller, allowing them the flexibility to skip Bedard. Acquired by Boston on July 31, Bedard has made seven starts since coming off the disabled list due to left knee woes.
He mentioned that the knee was a little stiff in his last start on Saturday, when he went six innings vs. the Rangers to earn his first win with the Red Sox.
The Red Sox will keep their options open for Friday. The nod could go to Kyle Weiland, who was added to the roster from Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday. Lackey could also make that start on regular rest.
"We're going to skip Bedard on Friday, try to give that knee a little time to regroup a little bit," said manager Terry Francona. "We really want to give [Josh] Beckett an extra day the next two times, and we already told him that. So we'll let him pitch today, then we'll kind of assess where we are with that. We would have a day Friday, Weiland could pitch that day, or we could bring the guys back on regular rest."
Bedard didn't sound all that concerned about his knee.
"Yeah, just skip a start," Bedard said. "We have enough starters, so it's not going [be a big deal]. Skip a start and see how it feels. Then go back at it. I'm not concerned. It's just sore, and I just don't want to make it too bad for later in the season and the playoffs."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.