Red Sox Notes: Crawford starting, Bailey continues rehab

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Red Sox Notes: Crawford starting, Bailey continues rehab

BOSTON Carl Crawford is in the starting lineup tonight, his fifth consecutive day after getting a day off Saturday against the Yankees in New York.Over the weekend it had been stated that Crawford would be on a four-day program, getting scheduled offdays. But the Red Sox later backed off that plan.Manager Bobby Valentine said he talked with Crawford Thursday afternoon, before the start of the four-game series against the Twins.He came in. I talked with him. Said he felt great, Valentine said. I said make sure you go in and talk to the training room, tell them how you feel. He went in, he was examined, he was massaged, he was conversed with. Trainer Rick Jameyson came into my office and gave me hes good to go.That initial program seemed to be exactly what he need to get him over some initial humps.-- Andrew Bailey is scheduled to pitch again Friday for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, the second appearance on his 30-day rehab assignment. He pitched one scoreless inning Wednesday, giving up one hit. Valentine said Bailey felt fine today after his outing.He felt really good, physically, Valentine said. It was the first time so there were a lot of checkpoints that he was going over. But he felt good.
-- Catcher Ryan Lavarnway is making his first start with the Sox since the final game last season, Sept. 28 in Baltimore. Valentine said he is not concerned with Lavarnways lack of familiarity with the major league pitching staff. Lavarnway will be behind the plate for left-hander Jon Lester Thursday night against the Twins.I think there's some comfort level with Lester, Valentine said. Hells bells, he was catching in Triple A and we were sending guys every-other day that he wasnt used to for two months and then guys were coming up from Double A. Theres probably some learning experience but I dont think its monumental.
-- Valentine responded to inquiries regarding his comments on a radio show yesterday morning on which he said ownership had talked to him about a comment he made earlier this year to Will Middlebrooks after the third baseman had a rough defensive inning. It happened two-and-a-half months ago or something. Its the most stupid thing that I ever said, on a radio program, Valentine said. But it was also ridiculous for someone to repeat it, I think. And thats the point I was trying to make.Its silly. Whatever. I dont even remember when it was. But if you need it, because if you dont talk about it, it becomes a bigger story because then the media can make it up.
He came into the dugout. He made a couple of errors, and I said, Nice inning, kid. I had thought I had established a relationship with him where I could say something like that and he would kind of smile or relax a little. Maybe he grimaced. I dont know. But someone overheard it and decided that it was a very dreadful thing for a manager to ever say to a young player and decided to repeat it a few times, this dreadful thing. And that person didn't go to the locker with me when I met with Will after the game to explain to him when I made three errors in a game, and I was 21 years old, and the fans wanted to boo me off the field, and how I got through it and other guys got through it and its a great learning experience. And I dont think that Will has been mortally wounded by the two-and-a-half month ago comment.Valentine said he did not know who it was who repeated his comment.Asked if he was bothered by the situation, Valentine replied:No, it was expected. Some guys dont get it.

Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

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Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz combined to allow all five of the Red Sox' runs in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Porcello finished his start by fanning four, allowing four hits and earning two runs over four innings. Pomeranz followed in the next four innings with four strikeouts, five hits allowed and three earned runs. Pomeranz allowed ByungHo Park's eighth-inning, two-run homer, which ended up being the game-winner.

Porcello, however, was optimistic after the loss.

"The buildup was good," Porcello told reporters, via RedSox.com. "Today I felt as good as I've felt all spring. At this point, I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."

While the Sox offense was able to get three runs off Ervin Santana in his 4 2/3 innings, they struggled against the Twins' next five pitchers. Xander Bogaerts (2 of 3) and Pablo Sandoval (1 of 3) managed homers. Hanley (3 of 3) Ramirez had a double, and Dustin Pedroia (2 of 3) had two singles.

Kyle Kendrick will start Thursday in the Sox' final Spring Training series against the Washington Nationals. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who’s on first? A middle infielder, maybe.

Hanley Ramirez, Josh Rutledge and Mitch Moreland aren't fully healthy. So the 25th man on the Red Sox has become a matter of corner-infield triage.

Rutledge was gearing up to play some first base with Ramirez restricted to DH because of his throwing shoulder. But Rutledge is hurt now too, likely headed to the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday morning in Florida.

Here’s the easiest way to think about who takes Rutledge's place: Who would the Red Sox like to see less against left handed pitching, third baseman Pablo Sandoval or first baseman Mitch Moreland? 

If it’s Sandoval, then you carry Marco Hernandez, who can play third base.

“He’s a very strong candidate,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday. “He’s one of a few that are being considered strongly right now.” 

If it’s Moreland, than you carry Steve Selsky, who has a history playing first base.

“He’s a guy we’re having discussions on,” Farrell said. “Any guy in our camp that we feel is going to make us a more complete or balanced roster, Deven Marrero, they’re all in consideration.”

The additional wrench here is that Moreland has the flu. If he's not available at all for a few days to begin the season, then the Sox probably have to carry Hernandez.

Why? Because Brock Holt can play some first base if Moreland is out. But then, you’d need another back-up middle infielder, and Hernandez gives you that. 

Hernandez is also hitting .379 in 58 at-bats this spring entering Wednesday.

Moreland isn’t the only one who has the flu.

"It’s running through our clubhouse," Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday, including the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton. "Probably be held out for three days for a quarantine.” (LINK:http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/20170329/with-josh-rutledge-and-mitch-moreland-ailing-first-base-depth-compromised-for-red-sox)

That means the Red Sox won't have Moreland for their exhibitions against the Nationals on Friday and Saturday in Washington D.C. and Annapolis, Md. Moreland could still be ready for the regular season, but would likely be at less than full strength.

Having Ramirez available would sure make things a lot simpler for the Sox.

Both Sandoval at third base and Moreland could use right-handed bats to complement them. Or more specifically, they could use people who can hit left-handed pitching to complement them.

Hernandez is a left-handed hitter who might actually be able to hit lefties. But the Sox haven't used him at first base, and there's no indication they will.

“As we look at the upcoming games, there is the potential for two left-handed starters in Detroit,” Farrell said. “So there’s a number of things being factored right now.”

Early in spring training, Farrell was asked what player had started to catch his eye.

The guy he mentioned was Selsky, an outfielder and first baseman the Red Sox feel fortunate to have picked up off waivers because he still has minor league options remaining.

Now Selsky, who has already technically been cut from major league spring training, has a chance at making the opening day roster. He's 27 and hit .356 in 45 Grapefruit League at-bats.

Chris Young isn't going to have an easy time finding at-bats as it stands now, but the Sox aren't considering moving him to first base.