Notes: Ellsbury 'close' but out of Sox lineup

Notes: Ellsbury 'close' but out of Sox lineup
September 25, 2012, 10:25 pm
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BOSTON Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is not in the starting lineup Tuesday for the start of the two-game series against the Rays.

He felt good enough to play and then the training room thought another day would be best, manager Bobby Valentine said. Hes doing fine.

Valentine would not say if he expects Ellsbury to play Wednesday in the Red Sox final home game of the season.

Im not going to make out the lineup now but hes close to playing, Valentine said.

Ellsburys ailment had not been defined, but Valentine said over the weekend it was a throwing situation.

They know in the training room, Valentine said. Its not a big injury, just something we dont want to get any worse thats for sure.

Ellsbury has not been in the starting lineup for five straight games, although he did get into the game in Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Right-hander Zach Stewart threw three innings in a simulated game Tuesday afternoon.

He hasnt pitched in a game since Sept. 5 according to Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur, Valentine said. Hes been throwing bullpens so he threw today to some hitters, three innings. Felt good, looked good, really good.

Stewart is expected to start Sunday in Baltimore. The right-hander, who was acquired from the White Sox in June for Kevin Youkilis, has made one major league start this season, on Aug. 29 when he gave up nine runs in three innings in Anaheim. Valentine would like Stewart to get another chance.

Oh absolutely, he said. I didn't want that to be the only taste of pitching in Fenway, or pitching for the Red Sox.

Daniel Bard threw one inning in the simulated game Tuesday afternoon. Valentine said Bard left with a blister. Since being called up Aug. 31, he has appeared in five games, spanning 3 13 innings, giving up nine runs on eight this and five walks with four strikeouts and three home runs, posting a 24.30 ERA in that span. Valentine would like to get Bard, who hasnt made an appearance since Sept. 19, into more games before the end of the season with the hope of Bard being able to end the season on a good note.

I really would, yeah, Valentine said. And I know he wants to pitch.

The Sox will honor the 2004 World Series team in a pregame ceremony. Among those expected to attend are manager Terry Francona, bench coach Brad Mills, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Mike Timlin, Kevin Millar, and Keith Foulke,

On Wednesday, the Sox will present the all-time Fenway team in a pregame ceremony.

Roger Clemens was on the field before Tuesdays game.