Rumors abounded dating back a week that New Britain Stadium might be the scene of a rehabilitation start for Red Sox starter Josh Beckett on Friday.
Beckett, folks hypothesized, could make a start for the Portland Sea Dogs. It was a reasonable assumption. MLB clubs prefer their pitchers to rehab at the home of their nearby minor league affiliates, but Portland, Triple-A Pawtucket and even short-season Class A Lowell will all be on the road come Friday. Pitching for Portland at New Britain or Pawtucket at Syracuse or Lowell in Batavia, N.Y., left the Red Sox some choices.
As the week went on, it became reasonable to assume that righthander Clay Buchholz could also be making a rehab start on Friday. New Britain's chances of seeing a big leaguer at work were improving.
But a report on the NESN website late Wednesday morning said the Red Sox have decided to pitch Buchholz on Friday and Beckett on Saturday, both for Pawtucket in Syracuse. It appears that New Britain fans will have to be satisfied with future big leaguers instead of present ones. Rock Cats officials expect a sellout on Friday anyway.