Valentine: Ellsbury's leg 'not an issue'

BOSTON -- Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched from the lineup Saturday due to a leg issue, according to manager Bobby Valentine. Ryan Kalish will bat leadoff and play center field for Boston.

“I’m just being safe with Jacoby,” Valentine said. “He has a very little situation that he wanted to play through, and with the day game tomorrow, I vetoed it. Ryan’s healthy and ready to go.

“It’s a leg issue, but it’s not an issue. But it could become an issue.”

Ellsbury returned to the lineup on July 13 after missing the majority of the season with a shoulder injury. He’s hitting .259 with one homer and six RBIs in 27 games.

* Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who missed Friday’s game due to food poisoning, is back in the lineup as the team’s DH Saturdayy night. “He said he felt really good when he woke up this morning. He came here, lifted some weights and has got it out of his system,” Valentine said.

* Speaking of catchers, Valentine admitted Saturday afternoon that, in general, he’s not a fan of having three catchers on the active roster. Boston currently has Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Lavarnway. “I don’t know how permanent the three-catcher situation is going to be, but it’s nothing I’ve ever been comfortable with, or even tried to do," Valentine said. "But if they’re here the whole time, I will get them work behind the plate.”

* With Josh Beckett being skipped from his scheduled start on Sunday due to back spasms, left-hander Franklin Morales will make the spot start. He’ll likely return to the bullpen afterward since Beckett will start on Wednesday. Morales is 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 33 games (five starts). “He’s pitched very well for us,” Valentine said of Morales. “Every time he’s been on the mound as a starter or a reliever, not every time but the majority of the time, I’m expecting him to be healthy, sound, aggressive, pound the strike zone, use his three pitches and help us win a game.”

* Reliever Andrew Bailey (thumb/forearm) was back in the home clubhouse Saturday afternoon at Fenway. He will continue his minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Portland on Sunday. It will be his third appearance and he’s already posted four strikeouts in two scoreless innings.

“I feel good, man,” Bailey said. “I’m definitely itching to get back. It felt good to get out there and let the ball go. I felt normal and everything’s healthy. Now it’s just back to baseball and situational stuff, and basically getting enough workload in to get back with the team and help them win.”