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Francona: Not so fast on six-man rotation

06.18.09 at 9:29 pm ET

With the rains falling before Thursday afternoon, presenting the chance of a rainout and another day off for the starting rotation, Red Sox manager Terry Francona was asked about the status of six-man rotation as John Smoltz looks forward to his return next Thursday at Washington.

‘€œThis six-man rotation is getting little bit of a life of its own,” Francona said. “We haven’€™t quite got there yet. Smoltz just got done yesterday. We’€™ll make decisions in the best interests of our team.’€

Speaking of Smoltz, Francona said all signs were positive from his final Triple-A rehab start Wednesday in Pawtucket.

‘€œHe came in today and said he physically felt really good,” Francona said. “In the bullpen, he threw two simulated innings before he went out. Then he got into the game and he had a real tough time gripping the ball. I think he almost gave up on having command of his off-speed pitches. He kept throwing it. But he knew it was just a battle but physically he felt great. We just told him to take the next seven days with John Farrell and I told him to do whatever’€™s in your best interest to get ready for Thursday and that’€™s what he’€™s going to do.’€

And on Jed Lowrie’s wrist rehab:

‘€œGood. Four at-bats. Two from each side. Not the official at-bat but a phone call from him. He’€™ll go tomorrow and try to get six at-bats. And I think the biggest thing he’€™s seeing, which is why we’€™re doing it like this, is just rust. He feels like he hasn’€™t played for a while, which he hasn’€™t. His wrist is doing great. He just feels like he hasn’€™t played in two months, which is exactly what’€™s happened.’€

Read More: Jed Lowrie, john smoltz, Red Sox, Terry Francona
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