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Varitek to miss six weeks

Captain has broken foot; Cash is acquired to catch

By Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / July 2, 2010

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Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek suffered a broken foot Wednesday night and is expected to miss six weeks. That led to the team acquiring Kevin Cash from the Houston Astros yesterday.

Varitek left the game against Tampa Bay after eight innings, and a source with knowledge of the situation told the Globe last night that the Sox captain would become the latest player to go on the disabled list.

Varitek was in the lineup because regular catcher Victor Martinez went on the DL Tuesday with a broken bone in his left thumb. Martinez is expected to return immediately after the All-Star break.

On Saturday, the Sox placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the DL with a broken bone in his left foot. He will be out at least six weeks.

Varitek, 36, was hitting .263 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs. His loss will leave the catching duties in the hands of two journeymen, Cash and Gustavo Molina, for at least the next nine games.

The Sox announced they had traded infielder Angel Sanchez to the Astros for Cash, but did not indicate where Cash would be assigned. But Cash said via text message that he was on his way to Boston.

Cash, 32, hit .204 with two home runs and four RBIs for the Astros this season before being designated for assignment June 23, and outrighted to the minor leagues the next day. He spent parts of 2007 and ’08 with the Sox, hitting .207.

Cash’s primary value comes in having caught Tim Wakefield 35 times.

Wakefield is scheduled to start against the Orioles tonight, with Cash likely to be behind the plate.

Sanchez had two stints with the Sox, appearing in one game.

The Red Sox also decided yesterday to place righthanded reliever Manny Delcarmen on the DL with a tight forearm, according to a major league source.

Delcarmen complained of soreness after he was unable to get an out in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game, saying the issue has been troubling him for a week. The injury is located close to his elbow.

Delcarmen, who had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his elbow in 2003, was able to throw 95 miles per hour, a sign that he may not have a serious injury. But he has allowed nine earned runs on nine hits and two walks in his last three outings, recording only three outs.

The Sox are expected to call up righthander Robert Manuel from Triple A Pawtucket before tonight’s game, with righthander Fernando Cabrera a possibility.

With Delcarmen out and fellow relievers Hideki Okajima and Ramon Ramirez struggling, the Sox are expected to be active in the trade market to try and improve their bullpen.

A trade for a starting catcher is unlikely given that Martinez could be activated as early as July 16.

The addition of Delcarmen and Varitek will give the Red Sox 10 players on the disabled list, five since June 24. In recent days the Sox have lost Mike Lowell (hip), Pedroia (left foot), Martinez (left thumb), Delcarmen, and Varitek to injuries.

In all, the Sox have had players miss 424 games this season while on the disabled list.

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