|Pregame Red Sox notes: Andrew Bailey slowed, Carl Crawford feared, Jacoby Ellsbury inching closer||06.23.12 at 8:10 pm ET|
Beyond the evident mutual displeasure between Bobby Valentine (who said that he can “play the people that I want to be in the lineup; I think that’s one of the things I’m allowed to do”) and Kevin Youkilis (who disputed Valentine’s claim on Friday that he’d discussed Youkilis’ playing time situation before telling the media that he’d “ride the hot hand” and play Will Middlebrooks), and the news that Clay Buchholz has been scratched from his scheduled Sunday start due to illness, there were a few other items of note from Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon.
– On Thursday, Andrew Bailey said that he saw a light at the end of the tunnel in his rehab from April thumb surgery. The tunnel just got a bit longer.
Bailey threw a bullpen session on Friday that “didn’t go perfectly,” according to Valentine. “We’re gonna let him rest a little before he gets back on the mound.”
Bailey had been progressing a bit ahead of schedule in his recovery, leading to his work off of a mound. But, Valentine said, “his arm didn’t feel great” during Friday’s session, so the team will limit him to work on flat ground for a while.
– Carl Crawford went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks while serving as the designated hitter for the GCL Red Sox in the first start of his rehab assignment. One of the walks was actually an intentional walk after he’d gotten to a 3-1 count. Valentine was a combination of amused and confounded by the tactic at the lowest rung of the minor league chain.
“I was on the phone with [Red Sox farm director] Ben Crockett as it was happening,” said Valentine. “It was an ‘Are you kidding?’ kind of thing. He’ll be intentionally walked. He has to practice that, too.”
Valentine said that Crawford will DH again on Monday after an off-day on Sunday. He added that Crawford will move to a more advanced level “when he’s ready to move,” but for now, the team prefers the relatively controlled environment of the Gulf Coast League.
– Jacoby Ellsbury continues to increase his baseball activity, taking batting practice on the field on a regular basis while also working on his defense. According to Valentine, he is no longer at a point where he is considered to be recovering from injury.
“I think he’s healthy,” said Valentine.
Still, after being out for more than two months due to his shoulder subluxation, Ellsbury has a few more hurdles to cross before he’s ready to start a rehab assignment.
“He needs to throw more, he needs to be confident that he can you know get back to bases. Dive, things like that are shoulder-related. And swing more,” said Valentine. “I know it’s not his throwing shoulder but it is involved in throwing, the front shoulder.”
– Valentine said that the team hasn’t yet determined when Josh Beckett will be activated from the disabled list.
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