Ellsbury could DH Friday in Gulf Coast League

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Ellsbury could DH Friday in Gulf Coast League

BOSTON -- When the Red Sox leave for a West-Coast road trip following Wednesday afternoon's game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, Jacoby Ellsbury will head down to Fort Myers to participate in Gulf Coast League action.

Ellsbury will join Carl Crawford, who's already down there. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said on Tuesday that Ellsbury "might be DH'ing" on Friday, which also means that Crawford will be ready to play the field.

Crawford was apparently already ready to play the outfield in the Gulf Coast League, but recent rain has prevented that from happening.

"The rain has been the update on Crawford," said Valentine before Tuesday's game. "He's taking batting practice. We're trying to figure out if it's better to move or to play. They say the storm's coming up the northeast. I don't know.

"But I think after tomorrow, Jacoby's going to go back down there too. So, at least they'll not be playing, together, if the rain continues."

Ellsbury took part in on-field batting practice on Tuesday at Fenway, and Valentine is intrigued at what he and his staff have seen.

"Dave Magadan really likes the way he's looking," said Valentine. "I saw him yesterday. He looked strong."

Ryan Sweeney (foot) had his boot taken off, and has a special shoe made for his inner left sole.

Andrew Bailey (thumb) played catch today, just days after a minor setback, and felt "pretty good" according to Valentine. The next step for Bailey will be throwing off flat ground, and then to the mound.

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

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Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.