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Players nursing injuries hope to be ready

Third baseman Mike Lowell and shortstop Alex Gonzalez are among those affected.

October 07, 2009|Kevin Baxter

The Boston Red Sox's run-up to the playoffs hasn't exactly been smooth. On the final weekend of the regular season, third baseman Mike Lowell injured his thumb, shortstop Alex Gonzalez injured his hand when he was hit by a pitch, reserve outfielder Rocco Baldelli has a strained left hip flexor and reliever Manny Delcarmen injured his back and neck in a car accident Saturday on his way to the ballpark.

Manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that the status of Baldelli and Delcarmen probably won't be determined until Thursday morning, when rosters for the first round of the playoffs must be submitted.

"He's still pretty tender," Francona said of Baldelli. "We're not going to put him on if he can't play. But if he can, we'd like to have him."

Baldelli hit .253 in 62 games during the regular season and was especially effective against left-handers, batting .290. The Angels are scheduled to start left-handers Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders when the series moves to Boston. If Baldelli can't play, the Red Sox probably will activate Brian Anderson, who batted .194 against left-handers.

Of Delcarmen, who was 5-2 with a 4.53 earned-run average in 64 games, Francona said, "We have a couple of things we need to check. We don't have to have our roster set today, so it would be kind of silly to do so.

"We'll take inventory of where everybody is."

Lowell feels better

After sitting out Boston's last two regular-season games because of his thumb, Lowell said he is ready to play.

"Everything is good," said Lowell, who injured the thumb in his final at-bat Friday. "We should be fine."

Of more concern is Lowell's right hip, which has bothered the 2007 World Series most valuable player much of the season. Lowell, who tore a labrum in the hip last year, had an injection of cortisone and a lubricant nine days ago. It was the second time this season Lowell received an injection in the surgically repaired hip.

Gonzalez, who was twice hit by pitches Friday but played in the season finale Sunday, also said he's OK.

No Wakefield

Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, 43, a first-time All-Star this season, was left off the Red Sox roster for the division series because of back problems and weakness in his right leg.

Wakefield (11-5) is traveling with the team and still works out in the hope of being activated if the Red Sox advance.

Delcarmen was scheduled to throw in the bullpen Tuesday and if he can't go by Thursday, former Angel Paul Byrd may be given the final spot on Boston's pitching staff.

Francona also said shortstop Jed Lowrie, who made two lengthy trips to the disabled list because of left wrist troubles, will make the roster as a backup infielder. Lowrie hit .147 in 32 games.


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