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Matt Thornton to DL, Mike Napoli sits, and other Red Sox notes

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 7, 2013 06:56 PM

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HOUSTON — The Red Sox placed lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle on his left side and recalled righthanded reliever Pedro Beato.

Thornton was injured Sunday while throwing a pitch. The Red Sox waited two days before deciding to make the roster move.

"When you get into the oblique injury, even though he feels improved [from Sunday], this is something that we don't feel like we want to rush with the potential of any kind of setback," manager John Farrell said.

Farrell said Thornton would need "every bit of the two weeks" before he returns.

The Red Sox also needed a fresh arm after using Brandon Workman for 4.2 innings out of the bullpen Tuesday night. He threw 91 pitches and won't be available for at least three days.

The Sox would make another bullpen move in Kansas City. Lefty Franklin Morales is scheduled to pitch an inning for Double A Portland tonight and that could end his rehabilitation assignment.

Also:

• Mike Napoli was given a day off, and Mike Carp is batting fifth and playing first base. Napoli is 0 for his last 14 and is hitting .203 with a .329 on-base percentage since the All-Star break.

Napoli was on the field early doing some extra work with the coaches. The focus was on keeping his bat in the strike zone and taking a better path to the ball.

"Today was a day to get him off his feet," said Farrell. "He's been grinding of late, and we felt like the extra work was needed, and a day off his feet."

Napoli has no issues with his hips. His problems at the plate are largely mechanical.

When asked if he would consider moving Napoli lower in the lineup, Farrell didn’t dismiss the idea.

“That’s something I need to talk about with Mike before we get into it any further,” he said.

"Right now, he’s grinding, and as a result, I think the swing has gotten a little bit longer at times and that’s where you see him having to commit earlier to above-average velocity. Does that make him susceptible to a bigger strike zone? Possibly. These are the things that are being addressed daily and certainly with the early work [Wednesday].”

• David Ross, who is on the disabled list with a concussion, will get checked out by a specialist Thursday in Pittsburgh. If cleared, he would start a rehab assignment with Portland Friday.

• RHP John Lackey, who sprained his left ankle Monday, played catch today and remains scheduled to start Sunday.

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