Terry Francona described the signing of Carlos Delgago as the Red Sox doing their “due dligence” to cover themselves at first base.
The 38-year-old has twice had surgery on his right hip in the last 15 months and last played in a major league game on May 10, 2009. He will report to Pawtucket tomorrow and work out for a day or two before getting in games.
Delgado has the right to declare free agency on Sept. 1 if he is not in the major leagues by that day.
It’s a low-risk move for the Sox. Delgado could give them a left-handed hitter to platoon with Mike Lowell at first base. If he can’t play, then nothing is lost.
“Try to see how that hip responds, how productive he is with the bat and see where it goes from there,” Francona said. “He hasn’t played in a long time. He needs to go play.”
Delgado worked out for the Sox here yesterday. Francona watched him swing the bat in the cage. He said Delgado looked like the hitter he remembered. But that was just BP.
Francona stressed that Mike Lowell was the first baseman and Delgado would be more of a complementary player.
As to other news:
* Jacoby Ellsbury feels fine. He’s out of the lineup because he’s 1 for 13 against Sabathia and the plan was to give him occasional days off regardless.
“I wasn’t going to play him today,” Francona said. “He’s fine. I think it makes sense … I’d rather not look up and see the Nomar Garciaparra fiasco. This will be in his best interests not to play today. Or maybe play later.”
* Francona said he wanted Bill Hall in the lineup against a lefty, hence no Ryan Kalish. But it’s an odd move. Hall has hit .226 against lefties this season and is 1 for 11 in his career against Sabathia.
Kalish is 2 for 4 against lefties since being called up and was 21 of 54 in Pawtucket.
According to Francona, Kalish was given a day off once a week in Pawtucket and responded well to that.