Red Sox notes: Dice-K not worried by elbow

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Red Sox notes: Dice-K not worried by elbow

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - For all those worried by Daisuke Matsuzakas departure from Fridays game against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning with right elbow tightness, the pitcher himself isnt overly concerned.

I have an idea whats going on on my elbow right now, so Im not worried too much about it, he said following the Red Sox 5-4 loss.

Matsuzaka estimates he began feeling stiffness in the third inning. He entered the fifth having recorded four strikeouts, three hits, one earned run, and four walks, helping the Red Sox maintain a 4-2 lead.

But after giving up a single to the first batter of the inning, Ichiro Suzuki, Jason Varitek was noticing a change in Matsuzakas delivery. The Red Sox wanted to be cautious and approached the mound with team trainers.

When the game started I started to feel stiffness on my elbow and I could have continued throw, Matsuzaka said. I didnt really feel that I needed to pull off from the mound. But I left all the judgments up to Titos. So that was his decision to come off from the mound.

Francona thinks he will be able to make his next start. Just as he did on Friday night, Matsuzaka will listen to the team.

Its not really my decision for the next game, he said. But I will see how I feel overnight and I will get checked out tomorrow again.

Mike Cameron hit his first home run of the 2011 season in the second inning off Jason Vargas. Then he doubled his total with another one in the fourth.

The first one I kind of got lucky due to the elements in the park, he said, referencing the wind. The second one, I just put a good swing on it. That was it. The ball was hit pretty good.

The offensive burst is a momentum builder for Cameron, who has had 27 at-bats in nine games this season.

You just keep working when youre not in there, working on the basic things, he said. After that, its just timing. I was able to be aggressive and put some good swings on some balls tonight. Even the ones I wasnt able to hit too well, I was able to be aggressive and put some good swings on it. I feel good about that. The results werent there that I like, but at the same time, its a good feeling.

Prior to Fridays game, Camerons last home run had come on July 18, 2010. His previous two-homer game was September 21, 2009 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Three Red Sox extended hitting streaks of note on Friday:

Jacoby Ellsbury (1-4) - 8-game hitting streak, .389 BA during streak

David Ortiz (1-4, RBI) - 8-game hitting streak, .348 BA during streak

Adrian Gonzlaez (2-4) - 6-game hitting streak, .444 BA during streak

The Red Sox ended their streak of eight errorless games with two errors against the Mariners. The stretch was snapped in the first inning when Darnell McDonald was charged with an error in left field.

The Red Sox lost their first game of the season when leading after six innings. Bobby Jenks entered the game with a 4-3 lead and gave up two earned runs in the seventh inning. The Red Sox had been 9-0 when ahead after six.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the annual winter meetings get underway today, the market for arguably the best free-agent hitter may be -- against all logic -- lessening.

Edwin Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers a year over the last five seasons, should be a player in demand.

But in quick succession, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, two teams thought to be in the market for Encarnacion, opted to go with older hitters who required shorter deals -- Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Further, the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Steve Pearce to a two-year deal Monday, coupled with their earlier acquisition of Kendrys Morales, closes the door on a potential return to Toronto for Encarnacion.

Seemingly, all of that would position the Red Sox, in search of a DH to replace the retired David Ortiz, to swoop in and land Encarnacion for far less than they could have imagined only weeks ago.

And yet, it appears as though things would have to change considerably for the Red Sox to reach agreement with Encarnacion.

While the first baseman-DH is known to be Ortiz's first choice as his replacement, for now, the economics don't work for the Sox -- even as Enacarnacion's leverage drops.

Encarnacion is expecting a deal of at least four years, with an average annual value around $20 million.

The Red Sox, industry sources indicate, are very much mindful of the luxury tax threshold. The Sox have, however modestly, gone over the threshold in each of the last two seasons, and even with a bump due to last week's new CBA, the Sox are dangerously close to the 2018 limit of $195 million.

Should the Sox go over for a third straight year, their tax would similarly ratchet up.

That, and the fact that Encarnacion would cost the Sox their first-round pick next June -- for this offseason, compensation for players given a qualifying offer comes under the old CBA rules -- represents two huge disincentives.

It's far more likely that the Sox will seek a cheaper option at DH from among a group that includes Pedro Alvarez and Mike Napoli. Neither is in Encarnacion's class, but then again, neither would cost a draft pick in return, or the long-term investment that Encarnacion is said to be seeking.

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason tells Toucher & Rich a story from his early days in Cincinnati when he witnessed Pete Rose overseeing five guys he paid to sign a stack of photographs for fans.