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Thursday, March 22, 2012
X-rays negative for Pedroia; forearm bruise

By Gordon Edes



FORT MYERS, Fla. -- How concerned was Bobby Valentine when Dustin Pedroia was hit by a pitch above the right wrist by Yankees nonroster pitcher Adam Warren?

"His hand was shaking,'' Valentine said after the teams' 4-4 tie. "I was really worried about it, very worried. I'm glad the X-rays were negative.''

Pedroia was hit by a pitch that ran in on him with two outs in the third inning. He was called out on the pitch by first-base umpire Tim Tschida, who said Pedroia went around with his swing. Pedroia came out of the game, replaced by Pedro Ciriaco, and will not make Friday's scheduled trip to Sarasota, where he had been penciled into the lineup against the Baltimore Orioles.

Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia reacts after being hit on the forearm with a pitch by the Yankees' Adam Warren.
Pedroia texted former manager Terry Francona, who was working the game as an analyst with ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" crew, that he was OK.

A few other tidbits from the Fort:

* After Daisuke Matsuzaka threw two simulated innings Thursday, Valentine was asked if it was realistic to expect Matsuzaka by July 1.

"I think that that’s more than realistic,'' Valentine said. "We have it mapped out before then. Closer to June 1. Potentially.''

* Here is where the club stands on shortstop Jose Iglesias, two weeks from the start of spring training:

GM Ben Cherington has said that Iglesias may benefit from more time in the minor leagues but that the club would keep an open mind on the competition. That hasn't changed. Iglesias has played well this spring. So has Mike Aviles, whose experience gives him an advantage. Valentine has not yet gone to the front office to say he prefers one or the other, but there has been plenty of discussion about the relative strengths and weaknesses of both players, as with all players still in camp.

Aviles had a double in four trips Thursday night. Iglesias is scheduled to play short Friday in Sarasota.

* A good time for Ryan Sweeney to start showing what he can bring to the table. Sweeney has been slowed by a strained quad, until returning to the starting lineup Tuesday. He had just one hit in his first 15 at-bats until delivering two hits, including a leadoff single in Boston's two-run ninth.

* Jason Repko continues to make a compelling case for a spot on the Opening Day roster with a double, run scored and a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt that brought home the tying run in the ninth.

* Aaron Cook, a dark horse for the starting rotation after he was held back at the start of camp to make sure his shoulder was healthy, gave up a couple of runs in the fourth inning on an RBI triple by Curtis Granderson and RBI single by Andruw Jones. But he also picked off two baserunners, Eric Chavez and Jones. Cook left after four, his sinkerball having produced six ground-ball outs. He gave up four hits, struck out two and did not walk a batter.

“I feel great. Looking back, it’s definitely the smartest thing we could have done,” Cook said of the delayed schedule. “It was a little aggravating at the time because you were coming into a new camp, new organization, and you want to get out there and show them what you can do. But in the long run, I think it’s really going to pay off. My shoulder’s felt great. I’ve had my legs underneath me all spring, and that’s really paying off with the action on my fastball moving down.”

Cook is very much in the mix, either for a spot in the bullpen as a starter, even if he starts the season in Triple A.

* Valentine said Vicente Padilla, sidelined for a couple of days by a strained hamstring, is OK to resume pitching. Valentine told the ESPN crew that Padilla was out of the running for a starting spot for now.

* Valentine said that Daniel Bard would pitch again in four days. Asked if it was a start, Valentine said: "Right now it is.'' Later, it was announced that Bard will start Sunday, with Alfredo Aceves scheduled to pitch Saturday.

* Valentine also said he was misconstrued regarding his comments after Mark Melancon's last outing.

"That Melancon comment was instigated by him. Do we all know that? He came in and said, 'Hey, I got all my running in.' Then I came in to our conference and said, 'Yeah, he got his running in, he backed up the bases well.' That wasn't a negative comment. Anyone who wanted to make that a negative comment, you have to retract that right now.''

Valentine had not offered that context at the time. Melancon mentioned to WEEI.com that is indeed what he said to the manager.