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Red Sox notebook

Broken knuckle sends Sweeney to the DL

As the rain falls heavily, Red Sox pitcher Franklin Morales fires a pitch in the top of the sixth inning, just before play was halted and the game went into a delay. As the rain falls heavily, Red Sox pitcher Franklin Morales fires a pitch in the top of the sixth inning, just before play was halted and the game went into a delay. (Jim davis/globe staff)
By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / August 1, 2012
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The Red Sox were prepared to deal Ryan Sweeney before the non-waiver trade deadline hit on Tuesday afternoon. But the outfielder instead likely will spend the rest of the season on the disabled list.

Sweeney broke a knuckle on his left hand when he punched a metal door in the dugout runway Monday night. He had surgery Tuesday.

“It looks pretty close to it,” manager Bobby Valentine said when asked if the injury would end Sweeney’s season.

Sweeney was robbed of a hit by Tigers second baseman Omar Infante in the eighth inning Monday. After throwing his helmet, he punched the door and had to come out of the game.

“Disappointing in how it happened,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “I know Ryan feels badly about it. Ryan’s been a good teammate, good guy in the clubhouse and played hard all year and played through some injuries early in the year when we needed him to. I don’t want to make more out of it than it is, which is a mistake.”

Sweeney was embarrassed after the game, saying he felt he had let down the team. Tuesday, he apologized to the team, his teammates, and fans via Twitter. “I don’t normally loose [sic] my cool and this was not an intentional action,” Sweeney also wrote.

Said Valentine: “Boys will be boys. The door he had actually hit was dented, so it wasn’t the first time. He must have went at it in the wrong direction, because there’s been multiple whacks at it.”

Sweeney was hitting .260 with a .675 OPS and 16 RBIs in 63 games. He was 8 of his last 64 (.125) with three RBIs.

The Reds, according to sources, were one of the teams interested in Sweeney as a bench player.

The Sox called up Ryan Kalish from Triple A Pawtucket to replace Sweeney on the roster. Kalish hit .217 in 18 games for the Sox from June 17 to July 7. He has hit .302 for Pawtucket.

“Ryan Kalish has been playing extremely well and is even more healthy than the last time he was here, so he’ll be a nice addition for us,” Valentine said.

The Sox have had 22 players go on the disabled list 26 times this season.

Crawford off program

Valentine sparked a ruckus in New York Saturday when he said Carl Crawford was out of the lineup because of a “four-day program” mandated by the medical staff to protect the partially torn ligament in his left elbow.

Cherington lent some clarity to the situation, saying Crawford no longer has any mandated days off.

“The facts are Carl’s coming off an elbow injury and coming off a rehab and was working really hard to get back,” Cherington said. “Perhaps in a perfect world we would have taken longer, but he wanted to play and we wanted to get him out there and get all our horses out there.

“And so, mostly because of that, we talked about the benefit, potentially, of a day off here or there in the early part of his activation to get him through the first few weeks and manage that.

“That was the conversation and Bobby’s given him a couple of days off now. He may continue to do that. That’s up to him.”

Cherington said that everybody is on the same page now.

“Carl is toughing it out and wants to play,” the GM said. “Maybe every once in a while we’ll give him a day so he can get through it. It’s more of a feel thing.”

Second opinion

Valentine revealed that the initial exam of Scott Atchison’s elbow revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament. The righthander is going for a second opinion but is expected to need Tommy John surgery.

Atchison was put on the disabled list retroactive to July 14 with forearm soreness. He seemed to recover and pitched an inning for Pawtucket Friday. That led to more pain, and the tear was discovered Monday.

Atchison, 36, had been having his best season in the majors, posting a 1.76 earned run average over 37 games and 46 innings.

Out with a bang

Matt Albers, who was traded to Arizona along with outfielder Scott Podsednik for lefthander Craig Breslow, left the Red Sox with a smile.

“You never know when it’s going to happen and when it does you just kind of pack your stuff,” he said. “I had a good time here. I enjoyed playing with these guys. It’s definitely the most talented team I’ve ever been on so I have a lot of good memories playing here in Boston.

“I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m a little sad, it’s a little bittersweet because I liked the team here.”

Ortiz still hurting

David Ortiz is eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday. But his strained right Achilles’ tendon is still bothering him. Ortiz took batting practice on the field and looked strong, but he is not yet able to run. “I’m still limping a little bit when I walk, so I’ve got to be pain-free first before I start running,” Ortiz said . . . Mike Aviles was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a sprained toe. He had an MRI, which revealed nothing unexpected, and a cortisone shot. The hope is he can return within a few days . . . Cherington on Daniel Bard, who has been improving in Pawtucket: “He’s one of the guys that we know can help and we expect to help us. There’s no specific timetable on that. He’s one of a number of guys in Pawtucket that we think can come up and help us the rest of the year.” . . . With a spot open on the 40-man roster, righthanded reliever Chris Carpenter was activated off the DL and optioned to Pawtucket. Carpenter is one of the players obtained from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein. Carpenter had a 2.77 ERA in 12 rehab games with four teams.

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

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