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Red Sox notebook

No recourse in Carpenter case

Injured reliever passed physicals

By Nick Cafardo and Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / March 30, 2012
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FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Red Sox had complete access to Chris Carpenter’s medical records, and the pitcher passed both his Cubs physical and Red Sox physical after he was sent to Boston as compensation for Theo Epstein, a major league source familiar with the situation said Thursday.

Carpenter had surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow Thursday and will be out indefinitely.

The Red Sox are not likely to receive a different player from the Cubs due to the transparency. They were well aware of Carpenter’s past elbow problems, but he appeared to be over them and was throwing well.

When the Cubs gave up Carpenter on Feb. 21, he had participated in all of their workouts. Of the players the Red Sox had to choose from, Carpenter was the pitcher Sox general manager Ben Cherington wanted because the team had scouted him at Kent State and liked him then.

The other element of the trade was finalized Thursday when the Sox sent first baseman Jair Bogaerts to the Cubs as the player to be named.

He is the twin brother of well-regarded Sox shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts.

Jair Bogaerts has hit .227 with four home runs in 93 Dominican Summer League games over two seasons.

Pitched battle

Two of the three pitchers in competition for a rotation spot - Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront - pitched well in their respective games.

Aceves gave up two runs, one earned, in six innings of a 3-2 loss to Toronto. He scattered three hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Although the Toronto lineup had only one expected starter, it was a big improvement for Aceves after he allowed nine runs in three innings against the Phillies on Saturday.

For the first time this spring, Aceves acknowledged his goal was to be in the rotation.

“It’s like a dream to start,’’ he said. “Obviously, I have dreams, of course. It’s something that every single pitcher tries to be . . . I don’t come to play without reason.’’

Aceves said he would not be disappointed to return to the bullpen.

“No, you know why? Because it’s hard to get a job. This job is really unique,’’ he said. “I think, looking at it on the other hand, we have to be glad to get a job to play with the Red Sox.’’

Manager Bobby Valentine has not said who the final two starters will be.

“I think [Aceves] is one of the better pitchers that we have in camp,’’ he said. “He’s pitched well.’’

Doubront pitched six shutout innings for Single A Salem against Minnesota prospects. He allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out four while throwing 87 pitches.

Doubront has had a strong camp and seems to have an inside track on one of the rotation spots. He allowed only five earned runs in 16 2/3 innings in major league games.

“Pretty much 100 percent, all my pitches are great,’’ he said. “I did the best I can.’’

Daniel Bard, the other contender, will start against the Twins on Friday. The expectation is for him to throw 85 pitches and get deep into the game.

Crawford’s timetable

Don’t expect Carl Crawford to join the Red Sox until May.

Crawford is taking swings at balls off a tee and working on bunts, but has yet to take batting practice thrown by a coach. He would have to progress from there to live batting practice and getting into games.

Valentine said it was not likely that Crawford will see live pitching before the team leaves Florida on Monday. The left fielder will stay behind and continue his program.

Valentine said Crawford would need “50 at-bats somewhere’’ before he can be activated.

“You got to do the math on that one,’’ he said. “That’s 15 games . . . Then you have to get 15 games from the time he starts playing. I think we have a target. It’s not a bull’s-eye.’’

Crawford, who had surgery on his left wrist in January, was initially supposed to be ready a few weeks into the season. But inflammation set him back for about 10 days during camp.

Roster rambles

Valentine said the final spot on the bench hasn’t been decided. The candidates remaining in camp are infielder Pedro Ciriaco, catcher Ryan Lavarnway, outfielder Jason Repko, and infielder Nate Spears.

“If you make the wrong decision and you don’t have enough of something when the eighth inning comes around, then you might not be properly prepared for that ninth inning,’’ Valentine said. “You look at what could go wrong.’’

There is a slim chance the Red Sox could carry an extra reliever.

High hopes

Valentine was asked about the low expectations for the team compared with last season.

“I have great expectation with this group,’’ he said. “[The Sox] are not the best team ever assembled this year. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I know that over history that’s been good for some and bad for some. It’s just what it is. We expect to make the playoffs.’’

Power outage

Not that it necessarily matters, but Jacoby Ellsbury (46 at-bats), Adrian Gonzalez (36), and Kevin Youkilis (31) have yet to hit a home run in spring training. Cody Ross leads the team with four and David Ortiz hit his third on Thursday . . . Catcher Max St. Pierre, a nonroster player invited to major league camp, was released after six days in minor league camp.

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

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