Notes: McDonald tweaks thumb

Notes: McDonald tweaks thumb
March 21, 2011, 9:49 pm
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By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Darnell McDonald left the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to the Phillies on Monday after the top of the third inning with a jammed right thumb, but the move was out of precaution more than anything else.

McDonald had surgery on the thumb last October, making the Red Sox extra vigilant.

"It just puffed up on him a little bit after an at-bat in the second inning," said Terry Francona. "He wanted to stay in. I just didn't want to undo a really good spring. We'll give him the day off Tuesday and then we're off Wednesday. He's fine. He said he took a swing and it hurt him a little bit. I just didn't want to mess with it.

"With the surgery, that's why I wanted to get him out of there. He said it had been a little bit sore for the past week. With the day off coming up, let's get him back feeling good."

Nate Spears, who had started the game at third base, shifted to left field with Ryan Khoury taking over at third.

McDonald wasn't the only injury victim Monday. Longtime clubhouse attendant Tom McLaughlin, stationed in the Boston dugout, was hit in the face with a splinter of a bat when Jacoby Ellsbury's bat shattered to lead off the game.

McLaughin was cut on the bridge of his nose, but was otherwise OK.

"It's amazing what some people do to get on TV,'' cracked Francona, noting that the game was televised by ESPN. "He got a little cut on his nose. But I was the only casuality. That's the quickest I've moved. I've got a little bit of a sore left hamstring.

"I was actually scared when he dropped his head. I thought he was hurt.''

McLaughlin joked that he suffered only a "broken eyebrow."

While the Sox and Phils played 140 or so miles to the north, four pitchers who stayed behind in Fort Myers were kept busy.

Felix Doubront, who has been slowed by left elbow tenderness, tossed a two-inning, 30-pitch simulated game. Doubront will throw a live batting practice session in a few days, then appear in a game before the Red Sox leave Florida next Tuesday.

Bobby Jenks also pitched a simulated game, throwing 17 pitches over an inning.

Jonathan Papelbon, pitching for Single A Greenville at the Red Sox' minor-league complex, gave up a hit and two walks over an inning and a third. He also had a strikeout. Of Papelbon's 28 pitches, 14 were for strikes.

Daniel Bard gave up four hits in an inning, pitching in the same game as Papelbon. He had one strikeout, with 16 strikes in his 26 pitches.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam