Red Sox Spring Training Delight – 4/2

Boston Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard throws on the side during a practice at the team's spring training baseball camp in Fort Myers, Fla., Sunday, April 1, 2012. Manager Bobby Valentine announced that Bard would be in the starting rotation when they start the season.

The biggest news of the day for the Boston Red Sox on Sunday was supposed to be the announcement of Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard as the fourth and fifth members of the starting rotation. Instead, it was the news of a mysterious thumb injury suffered by Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey.

No one is quite sure how Bailey injured his thumb and I saw a tweet somewhere yesterday that Bailey only found his thumb was injured when he tried to squeeze a shampoo bottle in the shower. So with all of that news, the Red Sox sent Bailey back to Boston for an examination and tests on the thumb.

The Red Sox will wait for those results before making a determination of whether or not Bailey starts the season on the DL. The best guess here is that he does in fact start the season on the disabled list allowing him to be fully healthy for the rest of the season.

While we thought Pedro Ciriaco, Jason Repko and Nate Spears were competing for the final spot on the Red Sox 25-man roster, that final spot could conceivably go to another pitcher instead of a position player.

Alfredo Aceves, who wasn’t happy with the fact that he won’t be starting this season, will be considered to close out games along with Mark Melancon until Bailey returns.

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and skipper Bobby Valentine have until 5 p.m. on Wednesday night to make their decisions on the final roster. It will be interesting to see what they decide on the makeup of the bullpen as well as the final roster. I say final because it’s the end of spring training.

We all know the 2012 Opening Day roster won’t look like the roster will on May 1st. That’s just the way baseball works.

To see today’s lineups as well as the links from the media, please click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

After winning the Mayor’s Cup yesterday, the Red Sox close out Grapefruit League play against the Washington Nationals.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. and there is no television or radio coverage of today’s game.

Here are the lineups:

Washington Nationals Boston Red Sox
1. Roger Bernadina CF 1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
2. Ian Desmond SS 2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. Danny Espinosa 2B 3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Adam LaRoche 1B 4. Kevin Youkilis 3B
5. Xavier Nady RF 5. David Ortiz DH
6. Chad Tracy LF 6. Darnell McDonald LF
7. Wilson Ramos DH 7. Ryan Sweeney RF
8. Jesus Flores C 8. Mike Aviles SS
9. Steve Lombardozzi 3B 9. Kelly Shoppach C
Jordan Zimmermann SP Aaron Cook SP

Cook will be followed by LHP Franklin Morales, RHP Mark Melancon and RHP Matt Albers.

MORE LINKS WILL BE ADDED BEFORE GAMETIME IF/WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AND WILL BE BOLDED

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Thumb injury likely to land Bailey on DL [Boston Globe]

Doubront, Bard put in rotation [Boston Globe]

Issues, right off the bat [Boston Globe]

Thumbs down on Bailey situation [Boston Herald]

Red Sox finally armed but not as dangerous [Boston Herald]

Every pinch counts [Boston Herald]

Surprise injury sidelines closer [Boston Herald]

Beckett expects to make first start [Rob Bradford - WEEI.com]

Bobby Valentine produces some interesting press conferences [Clubhouse Insider]

Now Beckett has a thumb situation; Aceves says he is on call for Game 2 start if needed [Clubhouse Insider]

Bobby Valentine “totally” expects Josh Beckett to start second game [Clubhouse Insider]

Video: Panic time over another thumb injury? [Clubhouse Insider]

Bailey (thumb) returning to Boston for examination [CSN New England]

Pitcher could fill Red Sox’ final roster spot vacancy [CSN New England]

Beckett (thumb) may miss first start of season [CSN New England]

Beckett (thumb) expected to make first start [CSN New England]

Melancon: Bailey won’t be ready to start season [CSN New England]

Resetting the Sox roster [ESPN Boston]

Bailey to have thumb examined in Boston [ESPN Boston]

Takeaways from Fort: Ross’ many talents [ESPN Boston]

Looking back at six weeks of spring training [Extra Bases]

Josh Beckett questionable for first start [Extra Bases]

Valentine still waiting for news on Bailey [Extra Bases]

Why left-hander Justin Thomas could be on Red Sox’ Opening Day roster [Full Count]

Sox’ success hinges on Bard, Buchholz [Tony Massarotti - Boston Globe]

Andrew Bailey Likely Suffers Thumb Injury in Collision, Discovered Pain Squeezing Shampoo Bottle [NESN.com]

Josh Beckett Suffers Thumb Injury, Alfredo Aceves Prepared to Make Spot Start in His Place [NESN.com]

Alfredo Aceves ‘Fine Now,’ Feels Red Sox’ Commitment to Daniel Bard Hurt His Chances of Starting [NESN.com]

Red Sox set rotation, with Doubront No. 4 and Bard No. 5 [Providence Journal]

Red Sox 2012: Loaded American League ensures a tough road back to postseason [Providence Journal]

Brian MacPherson’s predictions for the 2012 MLB season [Projo Sox Blog]

Tim Britton’s predictions for 2012 [Projo Sox Blog]

Beckett getting thumb checked in San Antonio [Projo Sox Blog]

Commitment to Bard meant versatile Aceves had little chance to win spot in rotation [Projo Sox Blog]

“Strike-throwing machine” Atchison awaiting word on fate [Projo Sox Blog]

If Bailey is out, closer picture cloudy for Red Sox [Projo Sox Blog]

Lavarnway optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket [RedSox.com]

Injured right thumb could land Bailey on DL [RedSox.com]

Sox weren’t tempted to move Bard back to ‘pen [RedSox.com]

Beckett gears up for season with side session [RedSox.com]

Red Sox get chance to change conversation [RedSox.com]

Beckett in Texas having right thumb examined [RedSox.com]

Bail-out strategy: A look at potential impact of closer Andrew Bailey’s injury [Alex Speier - WEEI.com]

Aceves says he may fill in for injured Beckett [Alex Speier - WEEI.com]

Four Red Sox April Fool’s Day Pranks That Didn’t Quite Work as Planned [Surviving Grady]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New EnglandESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.

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photo credit: AP Photo

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