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Matsuzaka takes a step forward

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  June 17, 2010 03:30 PM

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Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a 39-pitch bullpen session earlier today that he described as "normal."

He's going to throw a three-inning simulated game on Saturday. Barring some sort of setback, he should ready to return on or about June 23, the day he is eligible to come off the disabled list.

Beyond that's, lots of Manny Ramirez chatter at Fenway Park today. Mike Lowell said he'll be a "very interested spectator" to the reception Manny receives tomorrow night. Terry Francona joked (at least we think he joked) that Manny may not remember he's the manager.

The Sox also signed first baseman Ryan Shealy to a minor-league deal. He was released yesterday by Tampa Bay after exercising an opt-out clause in his deal.

Shealy, 30, has 164 games of big-league experience, the last of it coming with the Royals in 2008. He's a .271 carer hitter and this season was at .238/.354/.512 in Triple-A.

Once (or if) the Red Sox trade Mike Lowell, Shealy would give them some depth at first base.

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