Red Sox pregame notes


Red Sox pregame notes

CHICAGO -- Assorted news, notes and health updates from pre-game.

After adding one lefty reliever (Rich Hill) to their roster Friday, it may not be long before the Sox add another.

Andrew Miller is continuing his rehab assignment at Pawtucket and might be close to a call-up.

"Ben (Cherington) talked to him when Rich came up,'' said Bobby Valentine. "He feels he's close and we feel he's close. (We'd like to see) a little more consistency. He's throwing well.''

Miller pitched an inning for Pawtucket Wednesday. In eight rehab outings -- two with Greenville and six with Pawtucket -- he's struck out 15 in 8 13 innings while allowing four runs.

Cody Ross was back in the lineup after missing Thursday with some left knee soreness.

"He's got a bounce in his step,'' said Valentine. "Says he's O.K.''

Carl Crawford is back in Fort Myers following his visit to Dr. James Andrews, but doesn't plan to stay there long.

He's expected to be back in Boston when the team returns to begin a homestand Monday.

Crawford has been shutdown from all baseball activity for the time being. Valentine said the length of the down time would be determined by Crawford's "tolerance when he gets ready to start doing things.''

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

As expected, Marcus Smart will get the start for the Boston Celtics tonight against the Orlando Magic in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas. 

Thomas, who leads the Celtics (12-9) in scoring (26.0) and assists (6.2) this season, suffered a right groin injury in Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday.

Head coach Brad Stevens explained his decision a few minutes ago.

“He’s started a lot of games here in the past as a point guard,” Stevens told reporters. “He’s basically our sixth starter. It wasn’t one that I had to think a ton about.”

Starting Smart also allows second-year guard Terry Rozier to continue in his role coming off the bench. 

Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Smart’s production has been consistent. 

In the five games he has started this season, he has averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. 

His numbers off the bench are almost identical with Smart averaging 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a reserve. 

Stevens also mentioned that Amir Johnson would be back in the starting lineup in place of Jonas Jerebko. Earlier in the day, Stevens told reporters the decision to start Jerebko on Monday was strictly because of the matchup with Houston. 

“We have to be able to be flexible in doing that,” Stevens said. “Houston plays four guards. We didn’t feel like we could defend them unless we switch one through four. I thought he (Jerebko) did a pretty good job. This (Orlando) team is different than Houston other than both are super-hot.”

Orlando (10-12) has won four of its last five games in part because of its size, strength and versatility along the frontline which includes Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic who now comes off the bench. 

And while the Celtics have benefited heavily from the play of their guards, obviously that plan will be amended tonight with Thomas out. 

“He (Thomas) generates a lot in the open offense what we call flow, spread offense,” Stevens said. “So some of those type of things you may not generate at the same rate. But certainly there are other ways that we’ll look to play when he’s not in the game normally, or when we’re trying to play through bigs in the post. You have different ways to play within all your schemes. Hopefully we can play to each other’s strengths and go from there.”