Wakefield ready for bullpen duty

The Red Sox met with Tim Wakefield to discus his switch to the bullpen. According to Terry Francona, the veteran knuckleballer expressed a willingness to take on any role.

But Wakefield refused comment when approached by Globe colleague Amalie Benjamin.

Francona said the Sox would look to keep Wakefield stretched out and prepared to start. That could require extra throwing on the side. Francona also indicated it was likely the Sox would look to insert Wakefield into the rotation for a start from time to time to give the other starters an extra day of rest. But no such date has been picked out.

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Jason Varitek, who normally does not catch Wakefield, has been told to be ready for that eventuality. Francona is not inclined to shake up the rest of the lineup every time Wakefield comes out of the bullpen.

In other news:

* Francona said Jacoby Ellsbury had a good day swinging the bat and was able to increase the intensity of his work.

* Mike Cameron no longer feels “point tender” and that is a sign of progress for him.

Both of those players would probably need some sort of minor-league rehab appearance at this point. Ellsbury hasn’t seen live pitching since April 11 and Cameron on April 18.

* Hideki Okajima has had three days off and Francona said those were needed after his recent struggles.

* The Sox will drop a pitcher off the roster when they activate Daisuke Matsuzaka off the disabled list for tomorrow’s start. The candidates would seem to be Scott Schoeneweis or Alan Embree.

* In Pawtucket, catcher Mark Wagner has been placed on the disabled list because of a broken bone in his left forearm. Wagner is expected to be out 6-8 weeks. A strong defensive catcher, he was hitting .226 with two home runs.

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