BY DANIEL BARBARISI
Journal Sports Writer
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox rotation to start the season is set, and Justin Masterson won't be a part of it.
Beckett will start opening day for the first time in his Red Sox career. He will be followed by Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Tim Wakefield. Brad Penny should have the fifth spot, but it's unclear whether he'll be ready for his first turn on April 12. In that case, Clay Buchholz should get the start. But Penny will claim his spot when he is ready.
Justin Masterson will be sent to the bullpen to start the year. Manager Terry Francona said he was happy that the team was able to stretch him out as a starter all spring, and that he's a mature enough person that he could handle the indecision.
"If he was a kid who couldn't handle it or if it had caused a lot of anxiety, we wouldn't have done it," Francona said.
Beckett said he's excited to have the honor of the opening day start, scheduled for April 6 against Tampa Bay.
"Obviously it's something that you're always striving for. When you get to the big leagues, that's something you look forward to. And that's definitely something that I'm looking forward to."