Bradley to play CF as long as Ellsbury is out

NEW YORK -- Quick hits from Red Sox manager John Farrell’s Friday pregame session:

* The Sox will approach Friday night as a “complete recovery” day for Jacoby Ellsbury as he deals with some left groin tightness, which Farrell said occurred on the last of his five stolen bases Thursday night in Philadelphia. That means Ellsbury will not be called upon off the bench in any capacity -- pinch hitting, defense, etc.

Ellsbury, who was wearing an ice pack after the game but didn’t appear overly concerned that he was hurt, had treatment at the ballpark early Friday afternoon and is listed as day-to-day. “We’ll get a better sense and gauge of what his capacity will be, but that’s about the extent of what we can say right now," Farrell said.

The Red Sox have a day off on Monday, which means if they are concerned about Ellsbury aggravating his injury by playing this weekend, he would get five days off in a row if he doesn’t play here. With Shane Victorino not eligible to come off the DL until Wednesday, rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. will be the center fielder as long as Ellsbury is out, Farrell said.

The Sox are losing Ellsbury at his most productive. In his last 10 games, Ellsbury has posted a slash line of .400/.489/.550/1.039, scoring six runs, walking six times, collecting five extra-base hits and stealing eight bases. He has raised his season batting average from .241 on May 20 to its current .268, while his on-base average has risen from .303 to .337.

Ellsbury will not face Yankee left-hander CC Sabathia on Friday night. He was batting .226 (7-for-31) against Sabathia, who had struck out Ellsbury nine times while walking him once. Among Ellsbury’s hits off Sabathia are a double and home run.

* Clay Buchholz will definitely start Sunday, Farrell said. Buchholz will face Hiroki Kuroda in a reprise of their April 3 encounter, in which Buchholz limited the Yankees to six hits and a run (a home run by Travis Hafner) in a 7-4 win. Kuroda didn’t last until the second inning, leaving after a Shane Victorino line drive bruised the middle finger of his pitching hand.

* Victorino and third baseman Will Middlebrooks are both scheduled to take early batting practice Saturday. Farrell said it's possible Victorino will be sent on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket shortly, perhaps on Sunday, for a couple of games. Middlebrooks, who hit off a tee Friday, said the timing of his rehab stint has yet to be discussed. He said depending on how he feels, he could go down for as many as three games. He is due to come off the DL next Saturday.

* Left-hander Franklin Morales, who pitched five innings Thursday in an emergency start against the Phillies in his first appearance this season, could possibly be available out of the pen Sunday, but Farrell thought Tuesday was more realistic.