Cameron inches a little closer
After weeks of not having a timetable for either Mike Cameron or Jacoby Ellsbury to come off the disabled list, there finally seems to be a return date for one of them. Cameron has clearly progressed faster from his hernia than Ellsbury has from his fractured ribs, and might be heading out for a rehab assignment by the time the Blue Jays come to town Monday.
“The one thing I kind of stressed to Cam was that he has to feel good about playing, and he understands that,’’ said manager Terry Francona. “We want him to be able to react without playing with concern, and he’s done a really good job of pushing.
“He hasn’t quite hit that last gear yet. That’ll be the last thing, and then repeating it, seeing how he wakes up after playing. We’re getting closer, which is really good. But we want to make good decisions. We don’t want to be patient, then lose patience. But he’s so easy to talk to about it. He’ll give you a good answer, an honest answer, so I don’t think we’ll have a problem doing the right thing.’’
Cameron took batting practice and shagged some fly balls yesterday, then was examined by the Sox’ medical staff.
“Basically it’s still based on a kind of touch-and-feel type of situation with myself,’’ Cameron said. “I seem to be getting a little better every day. Don’t feel great every day, but my body’s getting better every day.
“I’m just trying to keep my primary focus on what can I do, what I’m capable of doing. That sort of thing. Makes it easier. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself basically. It’s uncharted territory for me, so I’m just trying to listen to what my body’s telling me. Try to do what’s necessary.’’
One thing that has been holding Cameron back is his inability to run full speed, especially in a game-type situation. That’s cause to be cautious, according to the manager.
“We don’t want him to go through the rest of the season at 90 percent,’’ Francona said.
There is no return date for Ellsbury, however. He got yesterday off, “just ’cause I think he feels like when he takes a blow every once in a while he bounces back better,’’ Francona said.
“He was checked out and he’s sore,’’ Francona said. “He’s got a pretty good bruise.’’
Beckett took all the responsibility for the mix-up. “We switched the signs a little bit. That was completely my fault. I saw something that wasn’t there.’’
Francona said it was just a coincidence that Varitek left the game at exactly the same time that Tim Wakefield entered. Victor Martinez came in to catch the knuckleballer.
The Sox have talked about Varitek catching Wakefield in his relief outings this season, though he has caught Wakefield in only one inning since 2005.
Martinez went 2 for 2, both singles. He is 8 for 19 (.421) with five RBIs over his last five games, raising his average to .267. Prior to last night’s game, Martinez was hitting .429 with a 1.162 OPS batting righthanded and .187 with a .509 OPS as a lefty.
Hermida was tied for the most two-out RBIs in the majors with 14, two fewer than his season total.
Peter Abraham of the Globe staff contributed to this report.