NEW YORK -- Pitcher Felix Doubront threw around 45 pitches off the mound Friday before Boston's series opener against the Yankees, and will likely have another such session before the Sox evaluate his return to the rotation.
"So we have him a little up and down session in the bullpen today, we'll have another one of those planned coming up where he'll do it longer, and then he'll be ready to pitch in the game and throw 100 pitches or so," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He'll be ready this next week to pitch. If we decide that we don't need him until at the end of the week, we might even take that amount of time."
Doubront had a "nice, active rest period," according to Valentine, after the Sox skipped his last start. He last pitched on Aug. 9 at Cleveland, where he lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He has thrown 122.2 inning in his first full season in the majors as a starter.
Valentine said the Sox have also considered retroactively placing Doubront on the disabled list if they don't plan to use him until the end of next week. Doubront has been battling a minor knee injury.
Ortiz takes BP, won't play in Yankees series
David Ortiz was "pain-free," according to Valentine and was scheduled to take batting practice Friday.
However, the designated hitter, who was fully shut down the past couple of days to rest his strained right Achilles, was not expected to be available against the Yankees this weekend.
"I think he might run a little, do some things to test it," Valentine said.
Ortiz went on the disabled list July 17 after injuring his Achilles rounding second on an Adrian Gonzalez homer. Since he got hurt, the Sox are 12-17.
Blame the media?
Valentine was asked about a WEEI interview conducted by Larry Lucchino, in which the Sox owner heaped blame on the Boston media.
The manager jokingly took it a step further.
"It's always the media's fault," he said. "What are you kidding? Partly? I think he's totally incorrect. Partly?"
Valentine then laughed off the idea that the media had something to do with the way this season has gone.
"The blame for what? The whole season? No. Media has nothing to do with the whole season."
Prior released by PawSox
Triple A Pawtucket has released reliever Mark Prior to make room for recently acquired pitcher Pedro Beato.
Attempting a comeback from the multitude of injuries that relegated of the game's most promising young pitchers in the minors, Prior was 1-0 with a 3.96 ERA in 19 appearances with Pawtucket, but he walked 23 batters in 25 innings.
Beato was the "player to be named later" from the Mets in the deal for catcher Kelly Shoppach.