Thursday, February 19, 2009

Notes From Camp: Ortiz Rests Left Shoulder

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A largely uneventful Red Sox spring training camp continued Thursday, the first day hitters faced live batting practice. For the most part, that meant hitters watching pitches go by, choosing to track the ball, rather than feebly swinging at it.

One man did not take any swings because he didn't participate in batting practice. David Ortiz was given the day off to rest a sore left shoulder, the result of sleeping on it funny, according to manager Terry Francona. Ortiz is expected to resume activities today, a somewhat light Friday because the team is taking part in the annual charity golf tournament for Children's Hospital of South Florida.

Among Thursday's other nuggets ...

-- Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a simulated game for the Japanese national team in preparation for the WBC. Francona said the team is in constant communication with the righthander, who is being monitored by two members of the Red Sox training staff.

-- Rocco Baldelli did not stretch before Thursday's workouts, as the team tries to walk a fine line with their fourth outfielder, still recovering from the muscle disorder that almost ended his career a year ago.

"We'll stay away from anything he thinks he needs to stay away from," Francona said. "The hardest thing for me so far, he wants to be a great teammate and we're into him, saying, hey, you're here to be on the field, not to prove to us that you can do the rundowns. We'll sit on him pretty tight."

-- J.D. Drew took part in the full range of activities Thursday, an indication that his balky back is feeling fine.

-- Righty reliever Wes Littleton, who is out of options, will get a lot of looks early in spring training games, as the team must make a decision on him sooner rather than later.

-- Francona praised pitcher Michael Bowden for his offseason conditioning program at the API in Florida, in which the righthander put on eight pounds of muscle. "He looks like [Bears linebacker Brian] Urlacher," Francona said.

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