Because of the time off, Francona said he was trying to get as many players in the lineup as possible. That’s why Coco Crisp gets the start, aided also by Oakland starter Rich Harden. Francona elected to start Crisp against the harder throwing Harden over Joe Blanton. It had nothing to do with Jacoby Ellsbury’s catch in centerfield last night, which found him coming down awkwardly on the turf after making the grab.
As for J.D. Drew, “he came in and said that it didn’t get worse, but as far as playing, that probably [wasn’t] looking real good for that,” Francona said. “So rather than try to take steps backward, we’ll try to get him as comfortable as we can, take some of the spasming. We’ve got to get on a plane. So we’ll try to calm that down as much as much as we can next couple days. I don’t know that a 10-hour plane flight would be the best recommendation, but we’re not going to leave him here.”
O, and Josh Beckett had his best side day of the spring, according to a conversation John Farrell had with the pitcher. The best case scenario has Beckett pitching in Toronto, during the three-game series April 4-6.