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Red Sox notebook

Now Hermida forced on DL

Beltre knocks out another left fielder

By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / June 12, 2010

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Left fielders would do well to avoid Adrian Beltre. Jacoby Ellsbury has already missed all but nine games this season because of four fractured ribs after a collision with Beltre. After left fielder Jeremy Hermida was placed on the disabled list yesterday, also with fractured ribs from colliding with Beltre, the third baseman has put two teammates out of commission.

Hermida, who was trying for a ball down the left-field line in Baltimore June 4, played Wednesday, but was sore the next day. The Sox kept him out of the lineup, and he was examined when the team returned to Boston yesterday. An MRI revealed fractures in five ribs.

The Sox will “let these things calm down a little bit, and we’ll go at the pace [Hermida] can tolerate,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “That doesn’t change. It’s kind of eerily similar [to the Ellsbury play]. Beltre is going to take out our whole outfield.

“We’ll try to let that heal a little bit. He was feeling better today, which we know can happen. We just want to slow it down a little bit and not have him go one step forward, two back, the rest of the year.’’

Hermida will be restricted from baseball activities, and, Francona said, could be back in three or four days.

“The way it was explained to me — and I’m actually getting more knowledge on this stuff than I really want — it’s kind of a deep bone bruise,’’ Francona said. “When you hear ‘fracture,’ everybody thinks it’s like a broken leg. That’s really not what it is. It’s something that’s very painful to deal with, which we all know, but it’s a non-displaced — it’s like somebody punched you and you have a deep bone bruise.

“You go as tolerated. He can work out. He can do everything. It comes back to symptoms. He’s safe to play. He’s actually safe to play right now. But that doesn’t mean you can play or should play. We’re going to let him heal a little bit, so he feels better.’’

Hermida said he had been talking to Ellsbury about what worked and what didn’t. He said he was feeling “significant pain’’ at one point, but was willing to go through it as long as he didn’t hurt himself further. But it got worse after playing Wednesday.

“To have that happen to two guys on the same team on the same play, saying that’s a freak thing might even be an understatement,’’ Hermida said. “I think you see that play happen a lot where nobody can really call it because you want to be sure you can get there and one guy goes high and one goes low. That’s happened to me before. It’s happened to almost every outfielder or corner infielder, I’m sure. Just what happened to both of us is just a freak thing.’’

As for Beltre, Hermida said, “Guys have been talking. We might have to get him on the UFC tour to see if he can take some of those knees to someone else.’’

Pap comes back
Jonathan Papelbon, who was placed on the bereavement leave list Monday for a family emergency, returned to the team after missing the four-game series in Cleveland. Papelbon was available last night, but was not needed in the Red Sox’ 12-2 victory.

“It feels good to be back,’’ Papelbon said. “I’m just ready to help get this team back to the World Series and win it again.’’

Though the emergency was not disclosed, Papelbon said everything is OK now. Papelbon said he tried to watch his teammates, but dealing with the emergency was more difficult.

“It’s tough seeing that when you have personal business that you need to take care of, which comes before anything else in your life,’’ he said. “It’s tough, but at the same time you realize what’s important in your life.’’

Nelson finished?
To make room for Papelbon, the Sox designated reliever Joe Nelson for assignment.

Nelson, who was lit up Wednesday against the Indians, wasn’t surprised by the move.

“I was sitting in my chair pretty much the whole day waiting for Tito to come grab me. I told him I would have done it two days ago,’’ the 35-year-old reliever said. “He was like, ‘It’s disappointing.’ They like me as a person and like the way I go about my business, but it’s about results. It’s a results-oriented game, and I didn’t throw good. I saw it coming.’’

But this move might mean something more than just a return to the minors.

“In all likelihood, if I clear waivers, I’ve probably thrown my last pitch,’’ he said, adding that he kept his uniform on for an extra hour in Cleveland because he thought that might be the last time he would wear one. “I don’t anticipate myself going back to Pawtucket, but that’s emotion talking right now. We’ll probably re-analyze it when I’m not as disappointed. I had every opportunity and I didn’t produce.’’

Youkilis sits
Kevin Youkilis was out of the lineup after coming out of Thursday’s game with back spasms. Although Francona said the first baseman was “a little stiff,’’ he also said he would likely play today . . . Dustin Pedroia had an MRI on his injured knee. Francona said Pedroia’s knee was bothering him before Thursday’s game, the first time he mentioned it. Pedroia has struggled since injuring the knee May 15 in Detroit. Pedroia was replaced by Bill Hall before the sixth inning . . . With Hermida on the disabled list, the Sox brought Scott Atchison back from Pawtucket three days early . . . Francona played with last night’s starter, Jamie Moyer, on the 1986 Cubs, Moyer’s first year in the majors.

On the move
At the end of last night’s game, Josh Reddick’s locker was cleaned out. The outfielder will be optioned back to Pawtucket today, though the corresponding move won’t come until today. The Sox want Reddick to play every day . . . With John Lackey winning his seventh game, the Sox became the first team in the majors to have three pitchers with at least seven wins. Clay Buchholz has eight and Jon Lester has seven.

Globe correspondent Nate Taylor contributed to this report.

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