Extra Bases

Aviles (ankle) out, so Punto gets a start

TORONTO — A few pre-game notes from the Rogers Centre:

• Mike Aviles has a bit of a sprained left ankle, so Nick Punto is playing shortstop.

“He says he’s fine and he always says he’s fine and I guarantee he’s going to say he’s fine every day this year,” Bobby Valentine said. “I thought Nick played such a good game the other day, it was just a good opportunity to get him in there.”

When asked about his ankle, Aviles said he was fine, just as Valentine predicted he would.

“Totally fine,” he said. It’s worth noting that Aviles was on the field for early batting practice earlier today. So he really is OK.


• Daisuke Matsuzaka went three innings in a recent extended spring training game, throwing 49 pitches. He hit 94 with his fastball. His slider wasn’t there. But he’s making great progress on his Tommy John rehab.

• Rich Hill will throw an inning for Single-A Greenville tonight.

• Andrew Miller will be joining Triple-A Pawtucket to continue his rehab there.

• Valentine is a smart man. Asked if any had any opinion on the Ozzie Guillen controversy, he shook is head. “No,” was all he said.

• Josh Beckett told a funny story about Guillen, who was the third base coach of the Marlins when he was there. In 2003, before Beckett pitched Game 6 of the World Series against the Yankees in New York, Guillen promised he would buy him two new suits if he won the game.

Beckett threw a five-hit shutout to lead the Marlins to the title. But he never got those suits.

“He left for Chicago after that,” Beckett said. “I should ask him for those suits.”

Now is probably not the best time, Josh.


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