Lowell targets Monday
When might you see Mike Lowell in an exhibition game? The target is Monday. The Red Sox are home that day. Manager Terry Francona isn’t sure just yet if Lowell will be at first, third or in the DH slot.
Daisuke Matsuzaka will face hitters for the first time on Saturday, throwing BP on the backfield. It still appears as if Dice will pitch in a game of some sort — Minors maybe? — by the middle of the week.
Jason Varitek and Adrian Beltre were supposed to make the trip to Jupiter on Friday to face the Cardinals, but Francona called back to Fort Myers and told them not to bother. Varitek is still getting his legs back under him after tending to his ill father for several days. Kevin Youkilis is the only member of the starting nine expected to be on the trip.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been Mr. Bus Ride early in camp, was given these two days off on the East Coast. Francona said it would allow the outfielder extra time to take extra hitting, something the manager likes all hitters to have a chance to do at some point over the exhibition schedule.
The reunion with Jason Bay was about what you’d expect. Lots of hugs and handshakes during batting practice. It was a little surprising that Bay got some boos in his first at-bat. Obvioulsy there was a lot that went into him signing with the Mets instead of the Red Sox, but Bay was classy every step of the way.
Francona, who is a big fan of Bay, said he was amused to see the left fielder heckled just a bit. In a shocker, Bay handled it with perspective, sending third base coach DeMarlo Hale a text message during the game, saying, “That wasn’t as bad as I expected.”
There’s a chance the Sox will be rained out on Friday. The forecast for Jupiter is, well, ominous, to say the least. But we all know how quickly weather can change.