Pregame notes: Scutaro cleared to work out


Pregame notes: Scutaro cleared to work out

By Danny Picard

BOSTON -- Marco Scutaro hasnt played since May 7 because of a strained oblique. But manager Terry Francona said Tuesday thatthe Red Sox shortstop has officially received the OK to do all baseball activities."

Hell be out on the field today, and well see where thattakes him and when, said Francona in Tuesdays pregame press conference. Itcould be as early as this weekend, maybe playing. Well see. Its just going tohave to go on completely on how hes doing.

Daisuke Matsuzaka had his right elbow examined by Dr.Lewis Yocum Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles, and Francona is waiting to hear the results.

I would imagine, pretty soon well be getting a phonecall, said the Red Sox manager.

The plan for Matsuzaka is for him torejoin the team in Boston on Wednesday, with the only real question being anexact timetable for a return to the mound.

In the meantime, with John Lackey returning to the rotationthis weekend, Francona gave his rotation for the Yankees series in New Yorknext week. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett will get the call.

As for the fifth starter, Francona said on Tuesday that hesthinking of possibly mixing and matching Tim Wakefield and Alfredo Aceves.

Left-hander Franklin Morales had an MRI on his strainedleft forearm, and Francona was pleased that the results came backstructurally, very sound. Francona said Morales may even throw prior toTuesdays game with the White Sox.

Theres some swelling in his flexor mass, which Im sure iscausing him a little bit of what hes feeling, said Francona. But thats goodnews. He actually felt way better yesterday, than he did the day before, sothats good news.

We just want him to be able to go out and pitch like hecan. Its hard, especially a guy like him. He throws hard. And he reaches backand lets it go. Hes not a real finesse guy. We want to let him be able to dothat.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

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


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.