Youkilis to play through hernia; Beckett returning


Youkilis to play through hernia; Beckett returning

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- Kevin Youkilis, who was back in the lineup Tuesday night, confirmed he has bursitis in his hip and a sports hernia. He will continue to play but will have surgery on the hernia after the season is over.

The bottom line for me is going out there and playing through it, Youkilis said. Theres a lot of guys banged up here. Im not the only individual here. In September, there are always a lot of guys hurting and feeling stuff. Ive been unfortunate with my hip that it just never really has healed. It basically has been inflamed. We tried with the injection. Its one of those things where you hope it gets better and better, but it just hasnt.

"Fortunately, weve got a great staff that is going to try to improve it every day and hopefully get it calmed down. Weve got some special padding to put on it for sliding and all the other things. Basically, were going to attack it as best we can, go day to day and play as best as I can tolerate it. Hopefully thats everyday and all nine innings.

Josh Beckett, who was knocked out of his last start with a sprained right ankle, threw a side session Monday and is expected to pitch either Thurdsay or Friday against the Rays at Fenway Park. He was scheduled to meet with team doctors before Tuesdays game against the Blue Jays and make a decision after that.

I said, Look, whatevers in your best interest. If you think the extra day helps you even more, well push you back. Thats kind of where were at," Francona said.

Eric Bedard, who has been sidelined by a lat strain caused by favoring his knee that had him on the DL earlier this season, could pitch one of the games in the doubleheader Monday against the Orioles.

He may throw today, Francona said. Well see. If he throws today, were just going to have to see where it goes. We dont know. We know we have a doubleheader coming up next monday that we got to fill two spots he may be a candidate, he may not. Well see

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

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:

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.

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.