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Red Sox notebook

Pedroia comes away unscathed

He’s bruised after getting hit by pitch

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / March 24, 2012
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SARASOTA, Fla. - Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia had a wrap around his right arm Friday morning, but was otherwise unscathed after being hit by a pitch Thursday night.

“Just a bruise,’’ said Pedroia, who was hit by Adam Warren of the Yankees in the third inning and left the game. “I check-swung and it hit me. I just tried to get out of the way,’’ Pedroia said. “It was a sinker. It started in and I committed, then I tried to get out of the way.’’

Pedroia said he “probably’’ could have stayed in the game, but manager Bobby Valentine pulled him out. X-rays were negative.

Pedroia took some swings in the batting cage in Fort Myers, Fla., and is tentatively in the lineup for Saturday’s home game against the Phillies at JetBlue Park.

A clarification

Valentine made news Thursday night when he criticized the Yankees for not wanting to play an extra inning in a game that finished tied, 4-4.

“They had plenty of pitching. I didn’t think that that was very courteous,’’ Valentine said after the game.

His contention was it wasn’t fair to Sox pitcher Clayton Mortensen, who was warmed up and ready to pitch.

“I’m as annoyed as I was last night, which isn’t very annoyed,’’ Valentine said Friday. “Mortensen had a bigger problem this morning than I did. And he had a bigger problem last night than I did. I didn’t get it. You know, it’s not going to make any difference in the Grapefruit League trophy at the end of the year.’’

Mortensen was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket Friday.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said his team was his priority and he didn’t want to use any of the minor leaguers on the roster.

“I’ve got to worry about our club and keeping our club healthy and not putting people in bad situations and making sure our club is ready to play,’’ he told reporters in Tampa.

Girardi also didn’t know that Valentine wanted Mortensen to pitch.

“That would’ve been acceptable to me. But there was no communication and usually there is,’’ he said. “It’s not like this is something new. There’s a lot of tie ballgames in spring training that end in the ninth inning.’’

More cuts

The Red Sox dropped six other players from their training camp roster. Righthander Junichi Tazawa was optioned to Pawtucket along with catcher Luis Exposito.

Valentine is optimistic Tazawa could return and help the team this season. He is now nearly two years out from Tommy John surgery.

“Tazawa just, as I told him, has to cut it loose. He’s one step away from being totally back,’’ Valentine said. “His pitches show the crispness that we need, but not the consistency. As he has admitted to, there’s just always a little trepidation of taking that extra step.

“He’s just got to do it. Once he does it, a lot of guys have had the same thing that I’ve dealt with. Once they do it, and they believe the ligament is even better now than it was before, it’s all downhill.’’

Righthander Brandon Duckworth, lefthander Jesse Carlson, catcher Max St. Pierre, and outfielder Alex Hassan were reassigned to minor league camp. The Sox have 46 players in camp, including two on the 60-day disabled list.

Pitching plans

The Red Sox have a split-squad doubleheader Saturday and two of the pitchers competing for spots in the rotation will be starting.

Alfredo Aceves is set to face the Phillies in Fort Myers, with Felix Doubront the scheduled starter against the Marlins across the state in Jupiter. The other primary contender for a spot, Daniel Bard, will start against the Blue Jays in Dunedin Sunday.

Lefthanded reliever Franklin Morales is scheduled for an inning against the Phillies. That would be his second appearance of the spring. Closer Andrew Bailey will work back-to-back days for the first time. He is on the list to pitch against the Phillies and Blue Jays.

Vicente Padilla will work in relief against the Phillies. Valentine has told him he will work as a reliever for now.

“I thought it was fine. He was like, ‘OK. I’m ready to pitch. Whatever you need, OK.’ He’s a real feel guy. And a lot of times, feel guys need some pitches,’’ Valentine said.

Padilla was slowed by a right hamstring strain, causing him to miss a turn and fall out of contention for a rotation spot.

Miller improves

Lefthander Andrew Miller, who has been out with a strained left hamstring, was cleared to play long toss Friday. It’s uncertain whether he can recover in time to be on the Opening Day roster . . . Chipper Jones, who will retire after the season, ruined many a day for Valentine when he was manager of the Mets from 1996-2002. “It would have been nice if he retired 20 years ago and never came into the league,’’ Valentine cracked. “He’s one of the great switch-hitters, one of the great Met-killers, one of the great kind of leadership figures that I’ve been around. He had a great presence about him. Uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and do the right thing.’’ . . . Jose Iglesias had a painful fifth inning. He was hit by a pitch and then, while at first base, was hit by a ball off the bat of teammate Jarrod Saltalamacchia . . . Darnell McDonald was 3 for 3 and is now 12 for 24 this spring. “He’s proven he belongs on the team,’’ Valentine said . . . Pat Sajak of “Wheel of Fortune’’ was on the field before the game chatting with Orioles general manager Dan Duquette. Sajak is a big Orioles fan. Maybe they can get a “W’’ for him.

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

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