Baseball

MLB notes: Valentine defends Beckett's golf outing

This is a 2010 photo of Andy Pettitte  of the New York Yankees baseball team. This image reflects the New York Yankees active roster as of Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
This is a 2010 photo of Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees baseball team. This image reflects the New York Yankees active roster as of Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) ASSOCIATED PRESS

Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine on Thursday downplayed the uproar over pitcher Josh Beckett's golf outing after he was taken out of the rotation because of stiffness. Beckett, who was suffering from a sore lat last week, was scheduled to start Thursday night against Cleveland.

"I've never seen a pitcher get hurt playing golf," Valentine said.

Valentine said Beckett was scratched from a start last week with stiffness, which he didn't think would be made worse by golfing. Had Beckett been sidelined with an actual injury, Valentine may have felt differently.

"I didn't think he was injured when he was skipped," Valentine said.

Fans haven't been so forgiving since the story surfaced earlier this week. The Red Sox are off to a 12-18 start and sit in dead last in the American League East. "I understand the frustration for sure," Valentine said.

Pettitte to start Sunday

Andy Pettitte says he's all set to rejoin the New York Yankees' rotation and start Sunday against the Seattle Mariners. "It's time now," the left-hander said Thursday on a conference call. Pettitte, a month shy of his 40th birthday, says he's been throwing bullpen sessions at Yankee Stadium and working with pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Pettitte retired after 2010, sat out last year and then decided to make a comeback this season. He made four starts in the minors and had a 3.71 ERA in 17 innings.

Guerrero signs with Blue Jays

Vladimir Guerrero has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. The deal was announced Thursday. General Manager Alex Anthopoulos cautioned there's no guarantee the 37-year-old will join the big-league team. Toronto will send him to extended spring training in Dunedin, Fla., and assess his condition. Guerrero hit .290 with 13 homers and 63 RBI in 145 games as a designated hitter for Baltimore last season.

Short hops

■ The Pirates placed closer Joel Hanrahan on the bereavement list and recalled reliever Daniel McCutchen from Triple-A Indianapolis. Hanrahan left the team to be with his family following the death of his grandmother. He is expected to return to the Pirates on Sunday.

■ Angels catcher Chris Iannetta will be out six to eight weeks because of an injury to his right wrist. Without specifying the exact injury, the Angels announced Thursday that Iannetta will undergo surgery Friday. Iannetta has been playing with the injury since getting hit by a pitch during his first at-bat May 2. He stayed in the game and caught Jered Weaver's no-hitter against Minnesota.

■ Representatives of the Athletics and White Sox will be on the field when the Cardinals retire the No. 10 jersey of former manager Tony La Russa on Friday. Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty, La Russa's right-hand man most of his St. Louis tenure, is expected to attend the pre-game ceremony.

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