Notebook: Lillibridge designated for assignment

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Notebook: Lillibridge designated for assignment

BOSTON -- To make room for left fielder Carl Crawford, who was activated from the disabled list, the Red Sox designated Brent Lillibridge for assignment. Lillibridge, a utility infielderoutfielder, was acquired from the White Sox in the trade for Kevin Youkilis.

We discussed a few options and that seemed like the one that was the best in this situation, Valentine said.

During the time we had him he was available to do all those things. Now that it seems that Jacoby Ellsbury is back and ready to go, just seemed like he could do what we want him to do. Its just that its probably the thing that we need the least right now.

The move gives the Red Sox 10 days to release, or trade Lillibridge or have him accept a minor league assignment.

Manager Bobby Valentine said he expects Dustin Pedroia to be activated Thursday, when he is eligible to be activated from the DL, where he has been since July 4 with a right thumb strain.

Talked to Dustin this afternoon and he truly feels great and watching him hit in BP, its different right now. I think hes on track, Valentine said.

Different than what it was except for the first two weeks of the season. It wasnt like he was hurt after that. He didnt quite feel what he feels now. he didn't have the timing.

Valentine said Adrian Gonzalez (back) and Ryan Sweeney (left hamstring) are both feeling better. Gonzalez is in the starting lineup.

The Sox have four left-handed hitters at the top of the lineup for the first time since, Sept. 30, 2009, when Joey Gathright, Josh Reddick, Casey Kotchman, David Ortiz were in the top four slots, according to Elias.

Valentine said he was unsure if he would stick with the six-man rotation he is using for the first turn out of the break.

Well, we havent even gone through it yet so Im not sure that well go more than once through, but well see, he said. It hasn't been a rotation yet. Its just been a line of six guys. were on No. 4 right now.

For now, Franklin Morales is listed as a starter for Thursday in the series finale against the White Sox.

Valentine said he was pleased with what he saw from his three starters -- Morales, Clay Buchholz, and Josh Beckett -- in Tampa Bay.

Terrific. Absolutely what the doctor ordered, Valentine said. Id like to keep the ball rolling here at home.

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California. 

 

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."