Looks like Mike Cameron is close to rejoining the team in New York and Jacoby Ellsbury is close to going on a rehab assignment to Pawtucket. Those decisions could be made as quickly as today when Francona, assistant GM Ben Cherington and GM Theo Epstein discuss the next plan for both players,
Francona acknowledged that the rib area still “pinches” from where Ellsbury suffered four hairline fractures after a collision with Adrian Beltre back on April 11, but that he had a good day working out today and seemed to be reaching the point where it was time to play.
Francona also decided to stick with David Ortiz in the DH spot over Mike Lowell with lefty Dontrelle Willis going. Lowell is expected to be in the lineup tomorrow at either first base or third base.
“I don’t want to get in the way of him getting hot,” Francona said of the move to play Ortiz. “I want to do what’s right. He swung the bat well. He had some vicious swings last night. There’s always a balance. Somebody plays and somebody sits. I want to give him a chance to get hot, too.”
Ortiz has never faced Willis.
On Lowell: “He’s done a terrific job, I think. I think I know what I’m going to do the next couple of days, anyway. The at-bats are probably going to come out where they would have. If that ends up being a problem, that’s probably a good thing. If we have enough guys hitting, and we have to figure something out, that’s not the worst thing in the world.”
Josh Beckett also threw a 55-pitch side session and felt good afterward and is set to make a scheduled start Tuesday in New York. “He’s on course to pitch Tuesday in New York. Having said that, we want to see how he feels tomorrow,” Francona said.
Francona said that Beckett “needed to throw a full side before going into a game.” Francona said that Beckett and John Farrell likely worked on some mechanical things from the stretch that Beckett needed to work on.
“We’ll hold Wake off. Not have him throw a side and just have him available for the game,” Francona said about Wakefield, who took Beckett’s spot in the rotation his last time out..
Sox vs. Dontrelle Willis:
Beltre- .778 (7-for-9), 1 HR, 4 RBI
Drew-.250 (3-for-12) 0 HR, 4 RBI
Hall- .308 (4-for-13) 0 HR, 1 RBI
Lowell – .333 (1-for-3)
Martinez – .667 (4-for-6) 1 HR 1 RBI
Youkilis .333 (1-for-3) 0 HR, I RBI