Wednesday August 31, 2011 | 05:02 PM

Odds and ends before Wednesday's Sox-Yankees game (with an update on J.D. Drew)

The Red Sox lineup: Ellsbury, Pedroia, Gonzalez, Ortiz, Lowrie, Reddick, Varitek, Scutaro (Beckett).

The Red Sox moved Dustin Pedroia back to second in the lineup and inserted David Ortiz as the clean-up hitter. Terry Francona said it had less to do with Pedroia and more with Ortiz, who is on a 13-game hitting streak (batting .520 with six home runs and seven doubles during the stretch).

Francona said he also wanted to "stack our lefties" against Phil Hughes. Right-handers bat .256 against him, lefties hitting .326.

One lefty to watch is Josh Reddick, who may be about to lose his starting job back to J.D. Drew - if Drew can stay healthy.

Reddick was batting .366 on July 25 with a 1.046 OPS. Since, Reddick is batting .186 (17-for-91). His OPS has dropped to .799.

Drew was scheduled to have one more rehab game in Pawtucket before re-joining the Red Sox. But the Red Sox just announced that Drew has sprained a finger. It is unknown how long he will be out.

Another Pawtucket outfielder, Ryan Kalish, is officially done for the year and will undergo surgery, to relieve a bulging disc in his neck. Kalish played only 22 games this season because of shoulder and neck problems.

"What everyone feels bad about is that the kid lost a year," Francona said, "a really big year of development."

In other injury news, Francona reported that reliever Bobby Jenks does not "feel ready" to begin throwing. Jenks went on the DL on July 16 with lower back tightness. Since then he has been sick off and on.

The clock is definitely ticking on any hopes of Jenks helping out the Red Sox this year.

"The hope is you got a guy who is fresh," Francona said. "The other side of that is that he hasn't pitched much. To think a guy can come back and be in mid-season form after throwing two innings ... I don't know how realistic that is."

Pawtucket picked up a player who may again join Boston for the playoffs. Speedy outfielder Joey Gathright signed with the Red Sox today. Gathright  played Triple-A ball for the Orioles last year, and, this this year, was playing for the independent Yuma Scorpions of the North American League. He was batting .347.

Gathright, who came up in the Rays organization, joined Boston briefly in 2009. He played 17 games and then was put on the post-season roster as a pinch-runner. He got into one game against the Angels.

In Sea Dogs "alumni" news, catcher Matt Treanor was re-acquired by the Rangers, from Kansas City. Treanor, who played for the Sea Dogs in 2001 and '02, caught for Texas last year during the Rangers' run to the World Series.

Speaking of alumni, Nomar Garciaparra is here, as part of the ESPN telecast.  Mo Vaughan and John Valentine have also visited the clubhouse (they are taking part in the Jimmy Fund telethon).

Someone in the clubhouse asked Nomar if ESPN was doing the game. When he said yes, the player said, "I just wanted to know if the game was going to be four hours or 4 1/2."

Nationally televised games feature longer commercial breaks, making the marathon Red Sox-Yankees games even longer.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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