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Sox may need hitter

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  July 6, 2009 04:24 PM

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The Red Sox wanted to wait until the end of July to evaluate Mike Lowell upon his return from the disabled list before deciding on whether they would pursue a hitter in a trade.

But now with Jeff Bailey on the DL with a high ankle sprian and Mark Kotsay's calf sore, there might be a need for another bat soon.

For now the team has recalled first base prospect Aaron Bates, who may provide exactly what the Sox need. But with the team only a game ahead of the Yankees (who were being beaten by the Blue Jays today) the Sox appear a tad shorthanded.

Sox manager Terry Francona said moments ago that bringing in Bates was the "clear consensus" in the organization. The Sox have scouted virtually every available hitter on the market - anyone from Victor Martinez to Chad Tracy, Garrett Atkins, Nick Johnson, etc, but really don't want to have to give up any of their relievers or pitching prospects. They are trying to buy time.

Francona just hoped Bates could help win a few games before the All-Star break and hoped the expectations that accompany young prospects won't get the best of him. "I'm aware that if he hits a couple of home runs you'll want him in Cooperstown and if he doesn't do as well you won't want him around."

In other Sox news:

Jed Lowrie was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for Bates on the roster, a sign the Sox are in no hurry to rush Lowrie back. He went 3 for 5 today in a Double A game.

Francona said Kotsay likely will play before the All-Star break but he wanted to give him a few days to rest the calf and felt confident Kotsay would be OK.

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