Red Sox Playoff Roster Takes Some Shape
|10.03.09 at 6:54 pm ET|
Red Sox manager Terry Francona provided a number of updates about potential reserves for the postseason roster. The newest and likely most significant development was that outfielder Rocco Baldelli, after leaving Friday’s game with discomfort in his hip, is feeling “pretty tender” and “was hurting” when he arrived in the Fenway Park clubhouse today.
Baldelli will probably have to wait until Monday to undergo further tests, potentially including an MRI, but his availability for the start of the postseason could be in some question depending upon the results. Outfielders Joey Gathright and Brian Anderson will both be traveling with the Sox to Anaheim on Monday night for the start of the Division Series. Gathright seems all but certain to have a postseason roster spot regardless of Baldelli’s health; the right-handed Anderson, meanwhile, could become an option for the roster if Baldelli is limited.
Other relevant developments in the formulation of the playoff roster:
–Alex Gonzalez’ X-rays today revealed that there was no fracture in his right hand. That came as a significant relief to both the shortstop and his club.
“To get hurt like that, be out for the season, it would be frustrating, especially since we’re going to the playoffs,” said Gonzalez. “That’s what I live for: the team in the postseason, trying to win the World Series. Thank God it didn’t happen.”
Gonzalez planned to take some swings on Saturday, and hopes to play on Sunday. That diminishes slightly the brief sense of panic that could have crept into the team’s calculations regarding its shortstop position.
–The backup role still seems a bit of an open question, however, with Nick Green seemingly unavailable, Jed Lowrie still somewhat limited (“We don’t want to see too much of Lowrie,” said Francona, suggesting that the team is still trying to measure his playing time) as he continues to rebuild strength following his April wrist surgery and Chris Woodward away from the club to be with his wife after she delivered the couple’s third child.
RIGHT FIELD / LEFT-HANDED OUTFIELDERS
–Sox manager Terry Francona said that J.D. Drew is fine, and will play tomorrow. Presuming he comes out of that game without a hitch, Josh Reddick will be sent to Fort Myers to stay fresh in case an injury requires the Sox to add him to the roster later in the postseason. If Drew has a setback, then Reddick would travel with the Sox to Anaheim as an insurance option.
–George Kottaras will travel with the club to Anaheim, but seemingly in a non-roster capacity. Unlike previous years, where the Sox were inclined to have three catchers to maximize their roster versatility, it appears that the team will have just two catchers this year. While Kottaras will travel with the team in the postseason, catcher Dusty Brown will head to Fort Myers to stay sharp.
–Paul Byrd said that he will be in the Red Sox bullpen both on Saturday and Sunday, but he did not think it necessary for him to gear up for a potential postseason bullpen role by making an appearance in the next couple of days.
–Michael Bowden will also head to Fort Myers to stay sharp. Pitchers Dustin Richardson, Hunter Jones and Fernando Cabrera will all head home.
–Junichi Tazawa will also travel with the Sox to Anaheim, spend the first two games with the club (“We want him to experience a little bit of what we’re doing,” said Sox manager Terry Francona, “and what he can hopefully be a part of”) and then fly back to Japan, his first professional season concluded.
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