Source: Bailey bothered by thumb injury

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Source: Bailey bothered by thumb injury

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In revealing the Red Sox starting rotation plans for the beginning of the regular season, manager Bobby Valentine Sunday morning hinted that an undisclosed injury in the bullpen affected his decision-making.

Though Valentine didn't say so, the issue involves a right thumb injury that has been bothering closer Andrew Bailey, according to a baseball source. Bailey has pitched in a big league game just once in the last 10 days.

The last time Bailey pitched, it was in a minor league game, which would seem to indicate that the Sox are contemplating placing him the disabled list to start the season. It's much easier to backdate a player -- placing him on the DL retroactively -- when he hasn't pitched in a major league spring training game in a while.

Valentine chose Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard as his fourth and fifth starters respectively, with Alfredo Aceves ticketed for the bullpen, in part because of his versatility and value there.

But Valentine said part of the motivation was that he wasn't sure about his back-end relievers.

"A little,'' said Valentine. "If I answer that the way I should answer it, you'll be confused because you don't have all the information. But the answer is yes. I think there might be a health situation -- there might be.''

Additionally, because of that instability in the back of the bullpen, the 25th spot on the roster -- which Valentine said Saturday would likely go to a position player, may now instead go to a 13th pitcher.

Previously, it was believed that Pedro Ciriaco, Nate Spears and Jason Repko were battling for the utility spot.

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six


After leaving Thursday night's game in the fifth inning and missing Friday night's game, Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup Saturday as they look to extend their winning streak to six in a 4:05 game against the Seattle Mariners.

Pedroia felt pain his left knee Thursday night and was taken out of the game by manager John Farrell as a precaution. The rainy conditions and wet field were also factors in keeping the second baseman out Thursday and Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on the knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked various confrontations between the Orioles and Red Sox.

Left-hander Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his second start of the season for Boston and right-handed reliever Ben Taylor was optioned to the PawSox. Right-hander Rob Whalen, 23,  comes up from Triple-A Tacoma to make his first start of the season for the Mariners. 

The lineups:

MARINERS
Jean Segura SS
Danny Valencia 1B
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Taylor Motter LF
Guillermo Heredia RF
Mike Zunino C
Jarrod Dyson CF
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Rob Whalen RHP

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Andrew Benintendi LF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Deven Marrero 3B
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Brian Johnson LHP