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Red Sox contemplate next step for Lester

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 23, 2012 06:58 PM

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ARLINGTON, Texas In case you missed it, the Yankees traded two prospects to Seattle for Ichiro Suzuki. No kidding. He's batting eighth against Seattle tonight. His first game in pinstripes will be against the Red Sox on Friday.

As for the Red Sox . . .

Bobby Valentine did not say one way or another whether Jon Lester will make his start against the Yankees on Saturday.

"I think so," the manager said. "But I'm going to talk to him. If he's healthy and ... yeah. We'll make sure. He's going to throw here on Wednesday."

With the day off on Thursday, the Red Sox could skip Lester and start Aaron Cook, Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz against the Yankees.

"I don't think so," Valentine said. "Maybe, but I don't think so."

Could skipping a start help Lester?

"Maybe," Valentine said. "If that's something we deem that he needs."

What about a trip to the disabled list?

"He's not hurt, that's for sure he says he feels fine," Valentine said. "The plan is to talk with him here after batting practice. I had a little piece of pizza with him. See if we can make a plan to get him straightened out, going on the trip on the right track.

"Just a conversation, you know? It's not anything that has to get deep. We have to talk and figure it out. We're not solving the world corn crisis. ... I believe in him. That's a good start."

Texas put RHP Colby Lewis on the 15-day disabled list. He reportedly has a torn ligament. The Rangers will call up LHP Martin Perez to start against the Sox on Tuesday.

Andrew Bailey will throw live batting practice on Wednesday here. If that goes well, he could start a rehab assignment.

Scott Atchison played long toss today and threw 25 pitches from flat ground. He will throw off the bullpen mound on Wednesday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka also is set for a bullpen session on Wednesday. That will move him closer to a rehab assignment.

Will Middlebrooks grew up about two and half hours from here. Tonight will be the first game he has played in Texas since high school.

"I had this day circled on the calendar," he said. "I was hoping I'd get called up."

Will said his grandparents are coming from Kansas. His folks and assorted other friends and family have tickets, too.

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