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Francona: We just don't know yet

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  September 30, 2008 06:00 PM

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ANAHEIM, Calif. – Terry Francona could not provide a definitive answer as to whether Mike Lowell will play tomorrow night, largely because the team workout was not complete when he addressed the media. Francona will meet at the team hotel tonight with his staff and general manager Theo Epstein to determine the roster, and then Francona will meet with players.

Lowell took what appeared to be a full session of batting practice, and the outcome was encouraging. (But then, swinging has not been the issue for Lowell.)

“Thought Mikey Lowell looked pretty good,” Francona said. “He’s not done doing everything he needs to do, but I thought it was very encouraging the way he moved around. The movement he did do didn’t grab at him. That was very encouraging.”

Lowell had said earlier today he might be able to play as a designated hitter, but that will not happen, Francona said.

“No,” he said. “David is our DH. The way that the Angels play the game, we have to put our best team on the field. We want David DHing.”

Francona admitted he was concerned about Lowell’s health in the field, partly because of the way the Angels freely utilize bunting and running. Lowell’s hip condition originally worsened when he fielded a bunt in Tampa Bay and made a running throw.

Josh Beckett, trying to come back from a right oblique strain to pitch Game 3, threw lightly today on the side. He made 30 throws from 60 feet, moved back to 90 feet and made 20 throws, then moved back to 60. Tomorrow, Francona said, he will play long toss.

“The ball came out of his hands real well,” Francona said. “Everything was very encouraging. Everything was real positive.”

Francona said the Red Sox have a contingency plan should Beckett not be able to start Game 3, but, “I think we think he can pitch,” Francona said. He did not divulge the contingency plan despite Tony Mazz’s best efforts. “Some of that may be determined by how we get there,” Francona did allow.

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