Ellsbury was out of the lineup for the third straight game Monday night since being hit in the back with a pitch at Kansas City. Ellsbury indicated he could play in the opener against the Rangers, but Red Sox manager Terry Francona wanted to wait another day with the All-Star center fielder.
“He came in early and hit, which was good. We’re pointing for tomorrow,” Francona said. “He came in today and was sort of, ‘I think I can play.’ But I said let me take this out of your hands and go one more day. He’ll be in good shape tomorrow.”
Ortiz hasn’t played since last Tuesday because of bursitis in his right heel. The slugger took swings inside on Monday.
“He’ll be evaluated again to see if he can get out of the boot,” Francona said. “When the tenderness goes away, when the medical people think he can do some running without going backwards, we’ll see where he is. He’s doing better every day.”
Tim Wakefield’s sixth shot at getting his 200th career win will come Friday against Oakland at Fenway Park, instead of Thursday night in the finale at Texas as had been scheduled.
“You can’t do it for sentimental reasons, but I’m glad,” Francona said about Wakefield now getting a chance for his 200th win in front of the home fans.
Left-hander Andrew Miller will come out of the bullpen to make his 10th start of the season Thursday, a move that gives Wakefield and the other starters an extra day of rest.
Francona said outfielder J.D. Drew (left shoulder), out since July 20, will play for Class-A Lowell on Friday and Saturday, work out with the Red Sox on Sunday, then get a day off before two games at Triple-A Pawtucket with the aim of being activated Sept. 1.
Reliever Bobby Jenks (left back tightness) threw 24 pitches in a simulated game Monday and is scheduled to throw another one Wednesday.
Third baseman Kevin Youkilis, put on the disabled list Thursday with a lower back strain, did cardio and core work Monday, but Francona said there still isn’t a projected date for his return.
“It’s not the lineup we’ve been sending out the majority of the year,” Francona said. “We’re trying to mix and match and get guys in situations where if they do want to pitch around somebody, it costs them runs.”