Youkilis out again with sore back

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Youkilis out again with sore back

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
SEATTLE Kevin Youkilis will be out of the Red Sox lineup for the second straight game because of discomfort in his lower back despite his best attempts to calm things down when he first felt the twinge.

Sox manager Terry Francona said that the Sox would stay away from Youkilis while hes still feeling things in his back, and it continues a season thats had plenty of nagging injuries eating at the first basemen. Youkilis talked about the back stiffness on Friday afternoon, and said that it originally grabbed at him in the series against the Minnesota Twins. Then it wouldnt loosen up while he took some swings in the batting cages during Fridays pregame, and thats when Youkilis and the team shut things down for the next two days.

Hes still sore, confirmed Francona.

This will be the 11th game missed by Youkilis this season due to an assortment of nagging problems none of which have been serious enough to land the third baseman on the 15-day disabled list. Nonetheless Youkilis was getting a little frustrated that his body was breaking down a bit with Boston reliant on their cleanup hitter.

I usually have something going in my back at least once a season, but it seems like there have been a lot of different things popping up physically throughout the season, said Youkilis. Hopefully this isnt something that keeps me out for a long stretch of games, but you dont want to force it and make things worse.

Mike Aviles will jump into the lineup at third base given his .375 career batting average against starter Felix Hernandez as opposed to the 1-for-9 lifetime performance by Jed Lowrie against King Felix and once again Dustin Pedroia finds himself as the unlikely cleanup hitter in the Sox lineup.

It doesnt appear likely that Youkilis would be available for pinch-hitting duties, and his availability for Sunday afternoon should be in question with another off day coming on Monday.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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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.