Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett has mild concussion symptoms, according to the team, after he was hit in the back of the head on Monday during batting practice before Boston's exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins at City of Palms Park.
Beckett walked from the field on his own, with trainers at his side. But after being examined by a doctor, he was sent home to rest. The Red Sox expect an update on Beckett Tuesday.
Beckett was in the outfield when coaching staff assistant Ino Guerrero attempted to use a fungo bat to return a ball to the infield. Instead, the ball hit Beckett.
"He's exhibiting symptoms of a mild concussion," manager Terry Francona said after Boston's 7-5 win. "He's been evaluated already. We'll get someone to look at him tonight, and when he comes in tomorrow, we'll check on him to see what level, if any, of a workout he can do or should do. So, go from there."
Beckett is coming off a disappointing, injury-riddled 6-6 season, in which he had a 5.78 ERA. Beckett, a 1999 first-round pick of the Florida Marlins, is 112-74 for his career, with four shutouts and nine complete games. This is his sixth season with the Red Sox.
"I think it hit him in the temple," Francona said. "I bet you it felt like a bolt of lightning. That's not really what you're expecting. It's just a fluke thing. Fortunately, it hit Beckett in the head. It's better than hitting him in the shoulder."
Beckett started Sunday night against the Twins and lasted two innings. He was scheduled to pitch next on Thursday against the Phillies in Fort Myers. But Francona said it was too early to make a decision on that yet.
"Let's just wait till tomorrow," he said, "and see how he does."