Red Sox Notebook

Hamstring lands Baldelli on the DL

Bailey likely to fill the spot on roster

Alec Foss of Minneapolis (with Tanya Pasho) actually ran a personal best at the Boston Marathon, but because of a rainout he didn't get to see the Twins - at least not last night. Alec Foss of Minneapolis (with Tanya Pasho) actually ran a personal best at the Boston Marathon, but because of a rainout he didn't get to see the Twins - at least not last night. (Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee)
By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / April 22, 2009
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When Rocco Baldelli walked off third base Monday, trudging slowly toward the Red Sox dugout with coach DeMarlo Hale, he didn't appear to be limping. But he had just aggravated a left hamstring injury that had surfaced in Anaheim last week and kept him out for a game against Oakland.

Now it has landed him on the disabled list.

The move was made last night after the Sox-Twins game was rained out, and the roster spot will be filled - most likely by Jeff Bailey - before today's makeup game, which is scheduled for 12:35 p.m.

The Sox and Twins also play tonight in their regularly scheduled game at 7:10.

"I think we had a thought that that might happen where he was a little sore in Oakland," manager Terry Francona said. "Tried to buy him some time, which we did.

"In the first at-bat [Monday] where he had to kind of kick into gear down the line, he was fine. When the ball he hit to right that the wind caught, then [Nick] Markakis didn't catch it, when he kicked into that high gear, he felt it when he came around second.

"The thought was we might be looking at a couple weeks to let this thing clear up so he's not limping all year. But we wanted to let him wake up and see how he felt.

"He came in about 1 and agreed that a couple weeks down would serve him well."

Bailey, the last player cut in spring training, was summoned to Boston.

He is not on the 40-man roster yet, and there is no room right now, but the Sox could move Jed Lowrie from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to open a spot.

When Francona talked to Bailey about being called up, it was a far different conversation from the one the two had at the end of spring training.

"I said, 'This is a lot more fun than the last time I saw you,' " Francona said.

"That was a tough meeting with him. He really had done everything you can ask in spring training. We tell the guys up front it doesn't mean you're going to make the club and he knows that. Still hard. We respect that. That was a lot more fun to tell him today."

The Sox will be left short in center field. Although Baldelli could fill in there, Bailey cannot. That means Francona would have to turn to J.D. Drew if he needs a replacement center fielder for the time being.

Drew said yesterday, with a smile, that he was prepared. Jason Bay, though, did play center field for Canada during the World Baseball Classic.

"Possibly down the road . . . we could move J.D. over there," Francona said. "There may be a need. We'll see."

Let's play two
The Sox will keep their pitching in line for today's doubleheader, as will the Twins. Because of the possibility of rain tonight, the second game could spill over into tomorrow, which is a common off day for the teams. This is the Twins' only trip to Fenway Park this season.

Tickets for last night will be good for today's afternoon game. Tim Wakefield will get the ball this afternoon against Scott Baker, with Brad Penny facing lefthander Francisco Liriano tonight.

But the problem with a doubleheader is always the bullpen.

"Any time you're going to be pressed into 18 innings in one day, you certainly hope that your starters are going to go deep in the game," pitching coach John Farrell said. "I think, particularly Wake, has shown that he's capable of doing that."

Show of strength
Daisuke Matsuzaka threw from 60 feet yesterday, as planned. "Strength was good," Francona said.

"The problem I think we were running into is not the strength on an exam, but the durability of the strength, which is kind of what can happen when you ramp up too soon.

"That was the problem they're having. He did a good job with his strength, there were no complaints on our part. You start throwing 80, 90, 100 pitches and that's where you can put yourself in jeopardy. We've talked about it a lot, pitch counts come up and everything, but when guys are staying in their delivery, there's a reason they're able to do that. They feel good, they have balance. They're not putting strain on their shoulder."

Matsuzaka will throw the same again today, before taking tomorrow off. There is no timeline for the pitcher to return to the rotation.

"It's very much a building-block approach at this point," Farrell said. "He's in that strengthening phase, while letting the inflammation continue to resolve. First step today. I think it's too early to project an end date in which he returns here. We'll take every necessary step to make sure that when he does return, he's had not only the time to let the inflammation calm down, rebuild the strength, but also have adequate reps on a minor league rehab assignment, which we envision taking place. How many starts is yet to be determined."

An extra coach
Francona might not have any control over the Celtics players, but that doesn't stop him from trying to help coach Doc Rivers. "I love them," he said. "I know Leon Powe hurt his knee. I know Rajon Rondo twisted his ankle. I was helping Doc last night in my mind." As for the Bruins? "I'm not a big hockey fan," Francona said. "I hope they do great. I know they seem like great people, but I just don't like the sport. You can't force yourself." . . . Francona exchanged text messages with John Smoltz. The pitcher is in extended spring training and is expected to throw a bullpen session today. Then he will either face hitters or throw two innings in a game in Fort Myers, Fla., Saturday . . . While the rain delay was going on, the Sox had baseball on one TV in the clubhouse and "American Idol" on the other. Nick Green is a big fan of the show, and continued to watch while the other Sox were heading out of the clubhouse after the game was postponed . . . Dave Roberts was in town filming a segment with NESN for the upcoming "Moments" campaign in which Sox fans vote on their favorite moment. His, of course, is the steal in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series. He had been scheduled to throw out the first pitch last night. "I definitely have a peace about not playing, and going into something else," he said, before adding that he has retired "for all intents and purposes." Roberts is planning on moving into broadcasting. He is scheduled to meet with the MLB Network, and is planning on doing some work with NESN this season.

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