KANSAS CITY -- Tim Wakefield, who continues to pitch through back woes that won't be fixed until he has surgery, needed 15 days of rest before making his start on Monday against the Royals. In a sign that he is feeling a little better, the Red Sox have lined the knuckleballer up to pitch on Tuesday night at Fenway Park against the Blue Jays.
That is subject to change, but Tuesday is at least a target the Red Sox and Wakefield think is realistic. That start would come with seven days of rest.
"Again, he said he felt pretty good yesterday," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "We'd keep Josh [Beckett] on his day, Monday. Then again, without taking anything for granted, it opens up [options]. We can do whatever we really want to do, which is kind of what we're trying to accomplish here."
What Francona would like to do next week is begin to line his starting pitchers up for the postseason.
As for Wakefield, who won 11 games in the first half before his back went out on him, it's remains uncertain how much he will be able to pitch the rest of the way.
"Again, he may not make the start [on Tuesday]," Francona said. "But I think we think he's going to be OK. We have to have -- or we'd like to have -- somewhat of a target so we can place everybody else. That's kind of what we're doing."
Wakefield has made three starts since the All-Star break, going 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.