Injury update: Cook, Youkilis, Dice-K

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Injury update: Cook, Youkilis, Dice-K

PHILADELPHIA -- Some updates on some rehab stints and injured Red Sox players:

Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis was set to play seven innings for Pawtucket Saturday, his third appearance with the Triple A affiliate.

"I told Kevin when he left, when he feels like's he seen the ball enough and when he feels good, to let us know,'' said Bobby Valentine. "It will be soon (that he rejoins us).''

Valentine said he would expect that Youkilis would play a nine-inning game before returning.

"When he feels like he's been put through the test,'' said Valentine, "when he's seen a lefty and righty...whatever he as an experienced hitter feels he needs. And then, of course, the medical people give him a green light. But it seems like the green light is on.''

The likely scenario has the Red Sox activating Youkilis for the start of the three-game series with the Orioles in Baltimore Monday.

Aaron Cook. Cook has been sidelined for two weeks after suffering a gash below his kneecap in a home plate collision.

He threw a bullpen session Saturday afternoon, after which he was expected to have the stitches in the knee removed.

"He's running,'' said Valentine. "He ran (Friday), he ran again today. When he get his legs underneath him, I think we're going to try to get him on a rehab assignment.''

"I feel great,'' said Cook. "I've been able to run, ride the bike, so I feel like things are progressing the way they need to. I'd love to tell you (I'll be ready after) one start or two starts, but until I go out there and do it, I don't know.''

Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka is set for his next rehab start Tuesday for Pawtucket, and the following day, his 30-day rehab window is over.

The Sox don't seem inclined to activate him this week, however, believing he needs additional time as he recovers from last summer's Tommy John surgery.

"I talked to him (Friday) and he felt good, but not that good,'' said Valentine. "We're going to see how he feels after his pen (Sunday). It seems like he has a couple of issues that are not where they should be.''

According to Valentine, Matsuzaka is experiencing some soreness in his lower neck area.

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.