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Red Sox notebook

Crawford experiences setback

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / March 3, 2012
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FORT MYERS, Fla. - What had been a speedy return from wrist surgery for Carl Crawford has hit a roadblock.

Crawford did not take any swings yesterday and has been put on medication to ease the onset of inflammation.

“I’m always concerned when there’s a setback. I don’t know how bad it is. But according to the doctor, it doesn’t look that bad,’’ Crawford said. “I was feeling real good, too. I wasn’t expecting this.’’

Crawford said the pain started Wednesday after he did several rounds of bunting drills.

“I think it was from all that bunting. I did a lot of extra bunting,’’ he said. “I was doing a lot this week.’’

Crawford had surgery Jan. 17 in Phoenix to remove some cartilage. The initial expectation was for him to miss a few weeks of the regular season.

That started to change once camp started as Crawford participated in fielding, running, and throwing drills without pain and soon started to swing at balls on a tee. He said then he hoped to be ready for Opening Day. Now the left fielder has to wait and see what comes next.

“Hopefully, it’s just a few days and I’ll pick it back up,’’ Crawford said.

Glove man

If David Ortiz put on his first baseman’s mitt during spring training last year, it wasn’t for very long. But he is scheduled to start at first against Boston College tonight.

Ortiz spoke with manager Bobby Valentine earlier this week about playing in the field this spring. He was all for it because it would mean more at-bats.

“I’m down with whatever Bobby wants to do,’’ Ortiz said. “No problem.’’

In previous years, the Red Sox were concerned with the greater possibility of Ortiz being injured if he played the field. He played only 13 innings in the field last season.

“He’s one of the first basemen,’’ Valentine said matter-of-factly. “David doesn’t mind playing a lot and Adrian [Gonzalez] wants to work his way into playing a lot. So I suspect [Ortiz] will get some innings [at first base]. He looks good. He’s moving around well in all the drills. He’s a better-looking first baseman than I had suspected.’’

Gonzalez is scheduled to start against Northeastern in the first game of the day.

In town

Northeastern will start senior righthander Sam Berg against the Red Sox. He is a reliever from Brooklyn, N.Y., who has pitched 1 1/3 innings this season, giving up a run on two hits.

The Huskies (1-2) have five games in four days starting tomorrow, so they can’t afford to use any of their starters against the Sox. The same will be true for BC, which has not named a starter. Coach Mike Gambino has said he will use his bullpen.

“We’re looking forward to it. Our scouting report on BC is a little better than it is on Northeastern. But we’ll make due,’’ Valentine said, laughing.

“I love when the games come up. But I’m the guy who always feels like we need a little more time to practice. But hopefully we can take the practice into the games a little more and get good at what we’re doing.’’

Getting closer

Andrew Bailey would like to pitch about nine innings this spring, maybe one or two more. In one of the games, he hopes to go more than one inning.

As a closer, that’s all he really needs.

So the fact that Bailey was shut down for a few days to deal with a slightly strained lat muscle is no big deal.

“For a reliever, you throw one inning at a time. You don’t need to get your pitch count up. It’s more like situational work,’’ he said.

Bailey threw in the bullpen Thursday, will play long toss today, and throw in the bullpen again tomorrow. From there he will pitch live batting practice and then get into a game.

“Everything is fine, it feels good,’’ Bailey said.

Driven up the wall

Owner John Henry visited the clubhouse after the workout and mentioned that the replica Green Monster at JetBlue Park is 3 feet taller than the real thing back at Fenway Park. Instead of 37 feet, it’s 40. Henry said they intended it to be 37 feet but something happened when the park was constructed. Henry said he likes the seats inside the wall (which are protected by a net) at JetBlue. The Red Sox looked into doing that at Fenway, according to Henry, but it wasn’t possible. So they settled for putting seats on top of the wall . . . Jon Lester will start against Northeastern with Felix Doubront scheduled to start against BC. “He’s fun to watch. He’s very good,’’ Valentine said of Doubront. “I’ve liked everything that I’ve seen in these noncombative situations.’’

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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