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Monday Morning Notes

03.15.10 at 9:11 am ET

Red Sox manager Terry Francona just held court in his morning media session. A few notes:

Daisuke Matsuzaka, after being sidelined for the past two days by a stiff neck, is feeling better. He is expected to throw long toss, and if all goes well, he will throw live batting practice later this morning.

Jed Lowrie will undergo a stress test this morning after experiencing an accelerated heart rate last week. If there are no abnormalities in the test, he would be cleared to resume baseball activities.

Bill Hall is making his first game appearance of the spring at shortstop today. He hasn’t played the position since 2006, when he was the Brewers’ everyday shortstop, but if he can handle the position, it would help the Sox to create a functional roster. “If Billy can play short,” said Francona, “it’s a huge advantage.”

–Francona praised the work of Scott Atchison this spring, and noted that his fastball/cutter/changeup combination allows him to attack both right-handed and left-handed hitters. Atchison and Joe Nelson — who features a Vulcan changeup that is extremely tough for lefties — are capable of taking some of the workload off of Hideki Okajima, even though they are right-handed, because they have the stuff to attack southpaws.

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