DUNEDIN, Fla. – Sox third baseman Kevin Youklis was scratched from today’s game with with stiffness in his lower back and was held back in Fort Myers for treatments.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Youkilis will get minor league at-bats Monday while the team travels to Clearwater.
*On Daniel Bard: “Hope to have him throw more than he did the last time and to feel good about his pitches when he comes out of the game. He’ll work with Kelly Shoppach and get that whole thing out of the way, and I think he’s gonna do well. I have a good feeling.”
*On the aftermath of Alfredo Aceves’ horrible Saturday outing: “You know it’s probably his worst outing since August of a couple of years ago so he’s due one. I heard he got hit, I didn’t see it. He threw a lot of pitches down the middle. I hope he got enough work in to make it a good day,” said Valentine, who managed the game in Jupiter while Aceves pitched in Fort Myers.
*Valentine said he probably would have liked to have seen Aceves throw more than 58 pitches, but “I think he’s an exception to most rules. He’s human.”
On comebacking lefty specialist Rich Hill, recovering from Tommy John surgery: “Word on Rich is good. Still a little uphill for hill…he’s doing very well. It seems like he’s ready,” Valentine said.
*Valentine said he has yet to figure out the final roster spot which could be anything, he said, from an outfielder, a utility player, a reliever. “A lot of guys are doing real well,” Valentine said. “When it comes down a week from today, we’ll make a determination.”