New Injuries Create More Patchwork Lineups for Red Sox Manager Terry Francona


May 26, 2010

New Injuries Create More Patchwork Lineups for Red Sox Manager Terry Francona When the Red Sox go for a sweep against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night, they may be doing so with another makeshift lineup.

Manager Terry Francona told WEEI's Dale and Holley Show that not only is the club still monitoring the health of outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury — who is dealing with tenderness in his side — but right fielder J.D. Drew and catcher Victor Martinez may not be available as well.

"We gotta keep an eye on a few guys," Francona said when asked what the lineup would look like against Rays right-hander Matt Garza would be. "J.D.'s not feeling the best [Wednesday] and I don't think Victor will be available."

Drew has been dealing with a sore hip flexor and a calf issue, while Martinez suffered a bruised big toe on his left foot in Monday's game. He did not play in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Tampa Bay.

Ellsbury was activated from the disabled list Saturday and went 1-for-14 in three games before sitting out Tuesday.

The club originally had designated outfielder Darnell McDonald for assignment to make room for the activation of Mike Cameron, but rushed McDonald back to Tropicana Field when Ellsbury indicated he had some soreness.

It has created a rather fluid situation in the outfield that seems to change on a daily basis.

"[Cameron] coming off when he did, the most he's played is three days in a row. We're very aware that we're not going to have him every day for awhile," Francona said. "We have [Jeremy] Hermida, we have Cameron, so we're trying to keep some consistency and probably make it a little easier for Cam.

"[As] soon as I say that, Ells shows up and he's tender."

The 26-year-old Ellsbury, who missed over a month with four fractured ribs suffered in a collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre, made one tumbling catch in center field in Philadelphia over the weekend and was also caught on television wincing after a swing at the plate.

He was given X-rays and a CT scan and examined by the Rays' physicians during Tuesday's game. Nothing new was found, so the club is hopeful that rest is all he needs.

"Hopefully it just got tender and we can give him a day or so and he'll be back in there," Francona said. "But again, we gotta make sure, with all he's been through, we gotta make sure he's OK."

Francona said that Martinez was moving much better and was the backup catcher Tuesday night if anything had happened to Jason Varitek.

Drew has been out running before some recent games in an effort to loosen up his sore muscles. Whereas in past years he has taken a day off here and there, Drew has been pressed into regular duty with the constant shuffling at the other outfield positions.

Francona touched on the challenges of trying to fill out the lineup card with so much fluctuation of late.

"I don't know if I know how this is going to work," he added. "Because of injuries, I'm not sure what that is every day."

Finally, Francona was asked about Tampa Bay's reaction to David Ortiz's slow home run trot in Monday night's game.

Essentially, Francona could not care less.

"We're trying to win," the skipper said. "I don't think I want to spend the energy on the website that times David Ortiz. I just don't have the energy to do that."

With all that has been going on with the roster of late, who can blame him?

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