Mike Lowell’s stay on the disabled should not be any longer than the virtual minimum, which means he is scheduled to return the day after the All-Star break. He is eligible to come off July 12, the Sunday before the break, but coming off for one game wouldn’t make much sense. In all, Lowell will miss 14 games but received 19 days off, a pretty good trade off.
And, manager Terry Francona said, Lowell showed up in Boston today feeling great, “to the point he’s thinking about he could play in a couple days,” Francona said. But if Lowell plays sporadically for a week and then feels hurt again, the Red Sox would be wasting an opportunity to maybe put the soreness behind Lowell for good and have him feeling good for the second half. That’s not a guarantee, but Francona says the Sox feel good about where he’ll be at after the DL time.
“Sure, it could reoccur,” Francona said. “The guy had surgery. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. There’s nothing structurally that went wrong or crept up.”
The man replacing Lowell is familiar face Jeff Bailey, who’s sort of jumped on that Lou Merloni Memorial Pawtucket-Boston Shuttle. This is Bailey’s sixth time called up since 2007. “That’s the way it is,” Bailey said. “That’s fine by me.”
Bailey is at first, which Mark Kotsay a night off against Baltimore lefty Rich Hill. (Shortstop Julio Lugo, in for Nick Green and leading off, is batting .400 against lefties with a 1.043 OPS this year.) Bailey is hitting ninth, but Francona and bench coach Brad Mills actually considered batting him leadoff. Bailey typically bats leadoff for Ron Johnson in Pawtucket.
Bailey will also be the emergency catcher, taking the role from Dustin Pedroia. Still, “I’d love to send Pedey back there,” Francona saiud. “See what he looks like.”
(More Francona-Pedroia hilarity: Pedroia apparently messes with John Farrell often. When he wears on Farrell enough, Francona said, Farrell will literally pick him up by the by the back of his shirt with one hand. “Pedey’s little legs are just dangling,” Francona said, cracking up.)
While Green is got hit with a ball in the ankle, Francona said that’s not the reason he’s not playing tonight. He wanted to give him a breather with a day game coming tomorrow. Also, Green took some grounders at third tonight with infield coach Tim Bogar.