The Red Sox have laid out their rotation going forward, although manager Terry Francona "reserves the right" to change things depending upon how Erik Bedard throws Tuesday night. If Bedard is fine, both in terms of his health and effectiveness, he may actually jump ahead of John Lackey in the rotation.
Bedard makes his first start in over two weeks when he faces the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. Francona already said that there are no expectations for Bedard to go eight innings or throw over 100 pitches, so there is some uncertainty as to what he can give.
"We don't know," Francona said of his expectations for Bedard. "We'll kind of have to play it by ear, see how he feels, see how he's throwing, see what the score is, kind of add them all together and try to make good decisions."
After Bedard, Josh Beckett will go in the regular season home finale on Wednesday. Thursday is a day off, after which Jon Lester and Tim Wakefield start the first two games in New York. If he wants, Francona will bring back Bedard on four days' rest for the series finale against the Yankees.
That would push the struggling Lackey to Monday, where he would be pitching on five days' rest at Baltimore.
Francona said those two could flip-flop if Bedard needs an extra day. The plan for now is to give Lackey the extra rest, although Francona did not say whether that was the reason why he was getting pushed back a day.
"Just want to check on Bedard," Francona said.
Lackey gave up eight runs in 4 1/3 innings Monday night. He is 0-2 with a 10.70 ERA in four starts this month.
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