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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Martinez takes BP, inching closer to return

By Joe McDonald

OAKLAND, Calif. –- Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez was able to take batting practice this afternoon and said he felt good afterward.

His fractured left thumb is healing and there’s a possibility he could be activated when the club closes out its three-city road trip in Anaheim early next week. Martinez, a switch-hitter, said it’s been easier to hit from the left side. When he bats right, he's been separating his hands slightly in order to keep the thumb from hitting his top hand on the bat.

After he was done hitting, Martinez put on the catcher’s gear and worked on receiving and throwing. He been wearing a protective splint on the thumb and says it feels good to catch.

“He continues to get more aggressive,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He’s actually swinging the bat pretty good. The last couple of days have been a big improvement.”

Because the club is on the West Coast, logistics could prevent Martinez from rehabbing in the minors before being activated.

“It’s a possibility,” Francona said. “We’ll see. It does seem kind of silly if a guy’s ready to play that we would send him back three time zones to get three at-bats.”