Red Sox notebook

An important exam

Ellsbury results affect OF moves

A former teammate of Jackie Robinson’s, Ralph Branca, throws a ceremonial first pitch. A former teammate of Jackie Robinson’s, Ralph Branca, throws a ceremonial first pitch. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / April 16, 2012
Text size +
  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

By Monday, the swelling in Jacoby Ellsbury’s partially dislocated right shoulder should have dissipated enough for the Red Sox to conduct a follow-up examination to determine the full extent of the damage.

The results could determine how avidly the Red Sox pursue a trade.

Major league sources say that general manager Ben Cherington has been investigating what outfielders are available on the market.

The Cubs are willing to move Marlon Byrd and the Athletics likely would part with Coco Crisp. But financial concerns could come into play.

Byrd, 34, is making $6.5 million this season while Crisp is signed through 2013 at $14 million.

Byrd, a righthanded hitter, hit .276 last season with a .719 OPS. If Ellsbury is going to miss several months, Byrd could become attractive to the Red Sox.

But if Ellsbury will be out only 6-8 weeks, the Red Sox could slide by with Cody Ross in center field and Darnell McDonald getting more at-bats than expected in left field.

The Red Sox put in a waiver claim on Detroit outfielder Clete Thomas, who instead went to the Twins.

Ellsbury has not been made available to reporters since he was injured Friday.

The hot corner

This is sure to cause some issues.

Bobby Valentine was on WHDH’s “Sports Xtra’’ Sunday night and said this about Kevin Youkilis:

“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But [on Saturday] it seemed, you know, he’s seeing the ball well, got those two walks, got his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he’ll move on from there.’’

Youkilis, 33, is hitting .200/.265/.233 in the eight games he has played. But the remark seems curiously timed given that he is 6 of 18 with three walks in his last five games.

Moves made

The Red Sox replaced outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin with the more experienced Jason Repko and started him in center field. They also called up infielder Nate Spears from Triple A Pawtucket.

Righthander Michael Bowden and catcher Luis Exposito were designated for assignment to open spots on the 40-man roster.

Repko would have been called up Saturday but the Red Sox wanted to make sure he was over an injury that had kept him out for six days. Once he played for Pawtucket Saturday, the switch was made.

Repko, 31, has six years of major league experience with the Dodgers and Twins. The former supplemental first-round pick is a career .226 hitter. He started Sunday in center field and was 0 for 3. But he contributed with a sliding catch to steal a hit from Jeff Keppinger in the ninth inning.

Spears, 26, is a career minor leaguer with the exception of three games with the Sox last September. He can play all the infield positions and the corner outfield spots.

“We tried to balance out the bench a little better and give us a little more versatility,’’ Valentine said.

For Bowden, this could be the end of his time with the Red Sox. The 25-year-old former supplemental first-round pick had a 5.61 earned run average in 39 games over parts of five seasons.

The Sox have 10 days to trade, release, or run Bowden and Exposito through waivers. In the case of Bowden, a trade is possible given his potential.

Exposito, a 31st-round pick in 2005, did well to reach the 40-man roster but did not hit well in the minors the last two years.

Robinson day

As part of Jackie Robinson Day across baseball, the Sox and Rays all wore No. 42 in memory of Robinson breaking the color line in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The day has special meaning for Valentine. Robinson lived in Stamford, Conn., Valentine’s hometown, in his final years and the two met several times.

“Obviously what Jackie Robinson did was needed for the game of baseball. He did what was needed for America,’’ Valentine said. “He was exactly the right guy to do the exact right thing. He took a big step forward for mankind.’’

Valentine founded a Little League in Stamford named for Robinson and helped raise funds to erect a statue in his honor. He also has worked on charitable projects with Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and daughter, Sharon.

Valentine’s father-in-law, Ralph Branca, is the last surviving member of the 1947 Dodgers. Now 86, Branca threw out the first pitch before the game with Valentine.

“All I could think was can he help us win the pennant, can he help us win games? I didn’t think about the color of his skin,’’ said Branca, who grew up in a racially diverse neighborhood in the New York City suburbs, about meeting Robinson for the first time.

Robinson, Branca said, was “feisty, fiery, and competitive’’ but turned the other cheek when confronted by racists at the order of general manager Branch Rickey.

“He was a special kind of guy,’’ Branca said.

Valentine was pleased to have Branca involved in the ceremonies at Fenway.

Miller roughed up

Andrew Miller’s fourth rehabilitation appearance was a rocky one. He got only one out for Pawtucket in Rochester Sunday and gave up four runs. Miller walked three and allowed a hit before being pulled. He threw only 11 of 29 pitches for strikes. He had been scheduled to pitch Monday but that could change . . . Rich Hill, another lefthanded reliever on the comeback trail, is scheduled to pitch for Single A Salem Monday . . . After using their bullpen for eight innings in the first two games of the series, the Rays called up righthander Alex Cobb (a Boston native) from Triple A Durham and optioned righthander Dane De La Rosa . . . The Sox have yet to score in the first inning . . . John Lackey, out for the season following Tommy John surgery, rejoined the team after spending the first two weeks of the season in Fort Myers, Fla.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

Red Sox Video