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News » 2009-04-23




While Julio Lugo appears to be making steps toward returning to the field, Jed Lowrie could be months away. And yet he might be closer than he expected.

After Lowrie met with Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona - yet another opinion from yet another specialist - manager Terry Francona said the shortstop is likely to have surgery on his left wrist in the next few days. Two procedures had been considered by the shortstop, one that would cost him the season and one that could bring him back by July.

``We're still having some internal discussions,'' Francona said. ``In saying that, I think it's generally pretty good news. I think the medical people even think with the surgery that he would be having he could be playing by the All-Star break. That's where we're at today.''

Lowrie played through a non-displaced fracture in the left wrist last season, discovering the severity of the injury only after the season. He rehabbed with rest, and without surgery, which appeared to be the correct choice as he batted .343 in spring training. But he began to feel pain in the wrist at the end of the spring, and finally told the Sox about the discomfort a week ago.

Complicating matters, of course, is that Lugo has been out for more than a month after tearing his meniscus. He went to Fort Myers, Fla., for extended spring training while the Sox were on the West Coast and rejoined the team yesterday. After passing tests given by the medical staff, Lugo is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Pawtucket today.

``I feel much better,'' said Lugo, who estimated himself at 80 percent. ``I've got mobility now. I don't have that much pain now.

``I had my meniscus done. They also cleaned my knee. The one inside takes 8-10 weeks, that's what they say. I feel good. My little spots, when I do some stuff, it bothers me a little. That's going to be there, but I can tolerate that.''

Lugo said the pain comes when he bends or squats, and when he goes to his right. It's a problem on defense, but has not been an issue at the plate.

Though there appears to be no timetable on Lugo's return, he said he would not rush back because of the trouble with Lowrie. Nick Green has been starting at shortstop and doing a capable job.

Baldelli ailing

Of more immediate concern was Rocco Baldelli, who left the game before the top of the fourth with a mild left hamstring strain. The inning before, Baldelli had made it to third base on an error by right fielder Nick Markakis, who overran a fly ball and had it clank off his glove.

But coming around second, Baldelli aggravated an injury that kept him out of the lineup last Wednesday.

``He's sore,'' Francona said. ``We'll know more tomorrow. It had been bothering him this week and he got to the point where he really felt pretty good today. Then he was going around second and it grabbed at him a little bit. We're going to need to reevaluate him in the morning and see how it goes.''

Nothing official had been decided yesterday, though Jeff Bailey was removed from the lineup in Pawtucket in the top of the ninth inning, and could be the replacement if Baldelli is placed on the disabled list. The only outfielders on the 40-man roster who are not on the active roster are Mark Kotsay and Jonathan Van Every, both of whom are injured.

The 40-man roster is currently full. But if Lowrie has surgery, he could be a candidate for the 60-day DL, opening a spot.

Walk this way

Jason Bay walked 102 times in 2006, so he has some experience with bases on balls. But not to this degree. With two more yesterday, Bay is up to 15 - more than the 12 hits he has in 41 at-bats. He's on pace for, oh, 186 walks. ``Not really something I'm trying to do,'' Bay said. ``Just trying to have good at-bats, and that's the result. I enjoy walking. Some guys kind of think of it as a negative thing, but I like it. Getting on base is part of my game, and that's part of it.'' . . . Just minutes after the game ended, Sox pitcher Hunter Jones was exchanging text messages with family and friends. They were all eager to congratulate the 25-year-old lefty on his major league debut. Jones started the ninth inning in relief of Javier Lopez, turning in a scoreless, hitless performance. He faced four batters and threw 9 of 15 pitches for strikes. A throwing error allowed Robert Andino to reach with two outs, but Jones got Felix Pie to fly to Bay in left to end the game. To commemorate the event, he was given a few lineup cards and a couple of balls. ``I had some good defensive plays behind me, and things like that made the outing go a lot smoother,'' Jones said.

It's a tossup

Daisuke Matsuzaka is expected to play catch today and start his progression back from his shoulder injury. He will start throwing from 60 feet, and will work on strengthening the shoulder . . . Van Every (ankle) is scheduled to report to Pawtucket today to begin his rehab assignment . . . Orioles manager Dave Trembley didn't have immediate CT scan results on Ryan Freel, who was hit in the head with a pickoff throw to second by Justin Masterson in the third inning. ``He had a pretty good knot on the back of his head,'' Trembley said. The ball bounced off the back of his helmet, putting Freel down for about three minutes. The only movement in that time was his left leg moving slightly. Freel was helped off the field by two Orioles staffers . . . Brad Wilkerson, who spent spring training with the Sox before being told he would not make the major league club, has retired from Baseball. As reported in the Providence Journal, Wilkerson told PawSox manager Ron Johnson that he was done after Pawtucket's second game of the season . . . David Ortiz is now tied for 10th with Joe Cronin on the Sox all-time RBI list with 737. Ortiz also tied Johnny Damon as the only American Leaguers to record at least one triple in each of the last 10 seasons . . . With yesterday's game starting at 11 a.m., Francona said he arrived at the ballpark ``about 7:15. Just in time to do nothing.''

Monique Walker of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 23, 2009

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