SARASOTA, Fla. – A beautiful day for the Red Sox’s exhibition road game against the Orioles today (1 p.m.). A few quick hits from manager Terry Francona’s meeting with reporters this morning in the third-base dugout:
Mike Lowell follow-up. Francona didn’t have a timetable for when Lowell (left knee contusion) might return. “I guess it's not as bad as it could have been,” he said. Asked about the possibility of placing Lowell on the disabled list, Francona said that type of decision isn’t on his mindset at this time.
Quick look at Scott Schoeneweis. Left-handed relief pitcher Scott Schoeneweis arrived in Fort Myers on Friday night and was in the clubhouse this morning at City of Palms Park (more from him a bit later). The plan is for Schoeneweis, who has an April 15 option but who figures his status with the Sox will be determined by the time the club breaks camp, to throw a light side today and have him pitch on Monday. “The one thing he’s been able to do is get left-handers out. That was the report that came out of Brewers camp,” Francona said. “We’re just trying to cover everything. We have Alan [Embree] here. We know it’s going to be a short look and that’s why we’re trying not to mess around and prolong it. We want him to be able to get out there and pitch a few times so we can make some good decisions.”
Monday moves with pitchers. Francona said reliever Boof Bonser will pitch in the minor-league game Monday afternoon, as will Daisuke Matsuzaka. Relievers Alan Embree and Schoeneweis are scheduled to pitch in the major league game that night, and given the battle for the final two roster spots in the bullpen, those outings will be important to evaluate. “We have to get those guys in the game and that was the way to do it,” Francona said.
Pitching plan for Washington. Francona said Tim Wakefield and Matsuzaka are scheduled to pitch in the exhibition finale in Washington on April 3. Francona said the Sox are trying to stay away from their relievers in that game. Asked if Matsuzaka will then return to extended spring training, Francona said that has not been determined.
Frandsen set to arrive this morning. Utility infielder Kevin Frandsen, acquired in a trade from the San Francisco Giants on Friday, was scheduled to arrive in Fort Myers this morning on a red-eye flight.
Hulett to see more time at shortstop in coming week. Infielder Tug Hulett, who delivered a walk-off single in Friday’s comeback win over the Blue Jays and is hitting .286 this spring, will see more action at shortstop this week. “He’s swung the bat well,” Francona said.