Results tagged ‘ Nick Green ’

Green still in limbo; Francona takes in some NFL

Shortstop Nick Green remains back in Boston doing rehab work with physical therapist Scott Waugh. In fact, the Red Sox told him not to join the team in New York this weekend so he can keep focusing on his non-baseball activities.

Green has what is believed to be a disc issue in his back that had been causing a “dead leg” type of numbness in his right side.

The Red Sox need to determine whether Green can get himself back in time to be on the postseason roster. Boston is a little deep when it comes to backup infielders. Jed Lowrie would be an ideal candidate to fill Green’s spot, but his surgically repaired left wrist is still not 100 percent. Veteran Chris Woodward was brought to the team earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Tim Wakefield will pitch Tuesday night agianst the Blue Jays.

Francona and some of his staff members went to Chiefs practice earlier today. Scott Pioli, the former general manager of the Patriots, is now running the show in KC. Francona and Pioli have a good relationship because of a mutual friend — Indians general manager Mark Shapiro.

What was that like?

“It was a different hour. I wish I could have stayed more, it was fun. It was a different mentality than we’re used to, I really enjoyed it,” Francona said.

How was it different? .
“Well, they’re 300 pound men trying to kill each other in practice, we’re taking grounders getting ready for a game,” laughed Francona.

Did he bring along fiery second baseman Dustin Pedroia for some tough talk?

“I’m not going to embarrass the organization,” quipped Francona.

M*A*S*H Unit Gains a Shortstop

Add Jed Lowrie to the walking wounded. The shortstop, who has been sharing the position with Jed Lowrie, had to leave Thursday’s game in the bottom of the fourth inning with what the club described as an “irritated left forearm”.

I’m not sure yet if that is of any relation to Lowrie’s left wrist, which was surgically repaired in April.

Lowrie has not been hitting at all since he returned from the disabled list the second game after the All-Star break.

Overall this season, Lowrie is hitting .143. He has 17 strikeouts in 56 at-bats.

A flurry of roster moves in Toronto

SS Julio Lugo has been designated for assignment, ending his disappointing two and a half year run with the Red Sox.

Not really a surprise, and the only mystery now is if Lugo will be traded — with the Red Sox picking up most of the $13.5 million left on his contract — or just give him his outright release.

Mike Lowell is expected to be back on the roster tonight, playing third base. Shortstop Jed Lowrie will arrive tomorrow and it will be interesting to see how the playing time gets distributed between he and Green.

And, of course, there is the spectacle tonight of Clay Buchholz making his first start of the season in what is expected to be a one and done assignment.

Wake could provide relief

With the bullpen getting taxed in Friday’s 13-inning win, veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield volunteered for relief duty on Saturday.

It is Wakefield’s normal side day, and even if he pitches, it wouldn’t affect his next scheduled turn in the rotation, which is Tuesday night against the Marlins.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona is hoping he won’t have to use Wakefield, but was glad to have the option.

“Wake is going to be available and hopefully it’s just one of those [situations] where we can use the guys we want to, and use them correctly, knowing he’s behind them,” said Francona. “If something happened early, that would be a situation [to use Wakefield] also. He’s aware of it. That helps us a lot. Wakey is pitching on Tuesday. We got pretty deep last night.”

Wakefield last pitched in the bullpen in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS, pitching three scoreless innings to earn the win in a 14-inning epic. Of course, that performance was most remembered for Jason Varitek having three passed balls in that top of the 13th inning, but somehow clutching strike three as the Red Sox got out of it unscathed.

In other news, shortstop Julio Lugo, who had a key pinch-hit on Friday, was in the starting lineup for the first time in eight days.

“He hasn’t played in a while and I don’t know that’s in anybody’s best interest, even maybe [Nick Green],” Francona said. “Giving him a day helps everybody.”

Ian Browne

Leftovers from a wild night at Fenway

Wow, was there ever a lot going on at Fenway last night! It was hard to include it all in the game coverage, so here are some leftovers.

Takashi Saito has pitched in a lot of non-pressure situations this season, not as a reflection of him, but because of how dominant the rest of the bullpen has been. Saito’s inning and a third of shutout relief wound up being crucial on Thursday, given Boston’s comeback win. It was Saito’s 100th career win when you combine his work in Japanese pro baseball, and his first with the Red Sox.

“There are many pitchers out there with better numbers than I have, but to put it very simply I am very happy today, more than anything I’m happy that I was able to get my first win as a member of the Red Sox,” said Saito.

As for Saito’s former teammate with the Dodgers and current teammate Brad Penny, he was stunningly electric last night. I would say Penny’s shoulder has come all the way back from the right shoulder woes of a year ago. His fastball was exploding into the upper 90s, as he fired six shutout innings against the Yankees.

“I would say my mechanics are getting a little better,” Penny said. “I’m staying behind the ball and driving off my back foot.”

Then there is Big Papi. The big man with the big swing and the even bigger slump is finally getting hot. He crushed that homer against Sabathia, staying on the ball perfectly and belting it like the Papi of Old instead of an Old Papi.

“When I hit the ball oppo like that, it’s a sign that I’m waiting for the ball good. I’m trying to stay through the ball. I’ve been feeling a lot better at the plate,” Ortiz said.

“That was a good swing,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “He’s getting better and better every day and that’s a huge sign for us.”

Then there is Nick Green, who has started the last five games and turned Julio Lugo invisible. The play he made in the ninth might have been a game-saver.

“Not too many shortstops make that play,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

Papelbon actually told Green the play won them the game, though a lot of others think it was Pedroia’s 10-pitch walk.

Either way, the Red Sox seem to be rounding into form at just the right time, heading into a weekend series with the defending World Series champions.

“It’s not just that we’re getting momentum by winning games,” Papelbon said. “I think we’re gaining  momentum with our players .David is starting to feel it, Josh is starting to feel it, our bullpen is starting to feel it. We just have to stay on this wave and ride it out.”

Carter and Green on the team — sort of

The last roster spots have been finalized, with the exception of the Brad Penny/Clay Buchholz decision.

Chris Carter and Nick Green, if everything stays the same, will be with the Red Sox on Opening Day at Fenway on April 6. However, general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona cautioned both players that a waiver transaction or trade is always possible in the last few days of camp.

Jeff Bailey was informed he won’t be on the team, and I’m sure it was a bitter pill to swallow, considering that he has played 1,111 games and came so close to making the club.

As far as the fifth rotation spot, Buchholz will make his final start of the spring today. Brad Penny pitches on Thursday, at which point the Red Sox will know for sure if the righty is ready to begin the season on the active roster.

The return of Mike Lowell

Yes, Mike Lowell is in the Boston batting order for the first time since Game 3 of last October’s Division Series against the Angels. He will be batting fifth, serving as the  DH.

Last time we all saw Lowell play a game, he was hobbled, and a shell of his normal self.

I’ll give you pitch-by-pitch updates of Lowell’s at-bats for those of you who can’t watch live.

Also, I’ll fill you in on Clay Buchholz‘s start and any other interesting happenings of the game.

Looking for a Mr. Camp? The early nominee is Nick Green. The 29-year-old veteran journeyman — who has 275 games of Major League experience and a lot of service time in the Minor Leagues — is hitting .478 with two homers and five RBIs over 23 at-bats.

Unfortunately for Green, it’s hard to imagine a roster spot will be open to him unless there is a trade of a certain veteran shortstop, which is highly unlikely.