Red Sox manager Terry Francona, in his weekly visit on the Dale & Holley Show, said that first baseman Kevin Youkilis was expected to play first base and hit cleanup on Wednesday, one day after he had to leave in the middle of game against the Rays due to pain in his right ankle. Francona said the club will be prepared for the possibility that Youkilis does not feel as good as he suggested by the time he shows up at Tropicana Field today, and that he will be evaluated at the park before the Sox fill out the lineup.
"The big thing revolves around Youk," said Francona. "If he’s in the middle of our order, obviously our lineup is better, but obviously we need to wait and see him before we do anything."
While the Sox are hopeful that Youkilis will indeed be playing, Francona said that the club would make a roster move for Wednesday's game as a contingency.
Despite the injuries that have swept across the Sox, Francona refused to suggest either that the Sox were trying just to survive through the All-Star break.
"Trying to get to a break, that's an unproductive way to go about things. ... Whoever plays tonight, our object is to win," said Francona. "We're a little short. We're a little banged up. But I'll take my chances with this group."
Francona also offered a couple of additional updates about the Sox, including:
--The team will make a roster move prior to Wednesday's game, presumably as insurance for Youkilis.
--The Sox will keep starter Felix Doubront on the roster for now. While the team is hopeful that Clay Buchholz will be ready to start the second half, the Sox need to be prepared in case the right-hander is slow in returning from his hamstring injury. Keeping Doubront on the roster gives the Sox greater flexibility to wait until Buchholz is completely healthy.
--Francona dismissed a report that featured a scout's speculation that Daisuke Matsuzaka was injured.
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