The past two days for the Boston Red Sox have been full of thumbs. And by that I mean the mysterious thumb injuries suffered by Josh Beckett and Andrew Bailey.

The reports that came out yesterday are good and bad. They state that Bailey will need thumb surgery and it’s unknown how long he’d be out for. The good comes from Beckett as it is expected he’ll make his first start on Saturday against the Tigers.

Both Bailey and Beckett are currently in Cleveland getting second (Bailey) and third (Beckett) opinions on their injuries. From what the media is reporting, Beckett’s is more for piece of mind than anything else.

As far as the rest of the roster goes, that’ll be determined after today’s exhibition game in our Nation’s capital. Obviously the injury to Bailey throws a little wrench into the plans of Ben Cherington and Bobby Valentine.

They’ll need to decide whether or not to carry 13 pitchers or 13 position players. And that affects players like Pedro Ciriaco, Jason Repko and Nate Spears on the positional side of things. It affects Scott Atchison, Michael Bowden and Justin Thomas on the pitching side.

As I said yesterday, don’t take too much stock in the opening day roster. It will look different on May 1st.

But right now, Cherington and Valentine are trying to put the best 25 guys out there in hopes of not repeating the 2011 start of 2-7 and a bad month of April. With the AL East stronger than ever this year, the Red Sox can’t afford another bad start.

We do know Aaron Cook won’t be on the roster. He’s still a little behind the rest of the pitchers but did pitch five solid innings against the Washington Nationals yesterday. He’ll start the season with the PawSox and more than likely make five starts with them before the Red Sox face his opt-out clause on May 1st.

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

After closing out Florida spring training action with a 4-2 win over the Nationals yesterday, the two teams today meet again at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. and there is no television coverage of the game in the Red Sox television market. If you live in the Nationals television market, you can catch the game on MASN. The game is available on the radios in the Nationals broadcast area on 106.7 The Fan and WFED 1500.

Here are today’s lineups:

Boston Red Sox Washington Nationals
1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF 1. Ian Desmond SS
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B 2. Danny Espinosa 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B 3. Ryan Zimmerman 3B
4. David Ortiz DH 4. Adam LaRoche 1B
5. Kevin Youkilis 3B 5. Jayson Werth RF
6. Ryan Sweeney RF 6. Mark DeRosa LF
7. Cody Ross LF 7. Xavier Nady DH
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 8. Wilson Ramos C
9. Mike Aviles SS 9. Roger Bernadina CF
Clay Buchholz SP Edwin Jackson SP


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Bailey needs surgery on his thumb [Boston Globe]

Schilling’s attacks miss mark [Boston Globe]

Thumb’s down for Andrew Bailey [Boston Herald]

Bad string of thumb luck for Sox [Boston Herald]

Closer to making it [Boston Herald]

Beckett ‘situation’ could be a non-starter [Boston Herald]

Club concerned Bailey’s going to miss a significant amount of time; Beckett appears fine [Clubhouse Insider]

Video: How Bailey, Beckett thumb issues may affect Red Sox pitching [Clubhouse Insider]

Bailey’s absence puts bullpen in full flux [Clubhouse Insider]

More clues in CSI: Bailey [Clubhouse Insider]

Valentine on Schilling criticism: Consider the source [CSN New England]

OverUnder: Red Sox 2012 [CSN New England]

Atchison hoping to make roster last-minute [CSN New England]

Source: Surgery would sideline Bailey ‘three to four months’ [CSN New England]

Sports Tonight: Harold Reynolds looks at the Sox [CSN New England]

Schill: Potential for ‘oil and water’ mix [ESPN Boston]

Bobby V talks Crawford, closer situation [ESPN Boston]

Beckett ‘totally’ expected to make start [ESPN Boston]

Power Rankings: Red Sox at No. 6 [ESPN Boston]

Pitching a work in progress [ESPN Boston]

Takeaways from Fort: Breaking camp [ESPN Boston]

Lucchino: Good thing Schilling’s not in charge [ESPN Boston]

Beckett also getting a second opinion [Extra Bases]

Cook, Ohlendorf dropped from Red Sox roster [Extra Bases]

Beckett expected to pitch; Bailey likely headed to DL [Extra Bases]

Podcast: Injuries and outlook for 2012 [Extra Bases]

Lucchino also takes a shot at Schilling [Extra Bases]

Crisis averted? Bobby Valentine ‘totally’ expects Josh Beckett to be ready for start of season [Full Count]

What Matt Cain’s contract means to Jon Lester and the Red Sox [Full Count]

Ben Cherington talks Andrew Bailey, Josh Beckett [Full Count]

Joey Votto, Matt Cain Contract Extensions Could Have Huge Implications for Red Sox Going Forward []

Victoria’s Secret Breaks Out PINK Red Sox Gear in Time for Opening Day (Photo) []

Daniel Bard to Remain Red Sox’ Fifth Starter Despite Andrew Bailey’s Setback []

Next stop for Cook: Pawtucket [Projo Sox Blog]

Blitz of thumb injuries causing 40-man roster crunch [Projo Sox Blog]

How Bard, Doubront affect the Red Sox payroll going forward [Projo Sox Blog]

Red Sox awaiting word on Bailey, Beckett [Projo Sox Blog]

Beckett headed to thumb specialist in Texas; Valentine expects him to pitch Saturday [Providence Journal]

Red Sox Journal: Closer role is an open question [Providence Journal]

Aceves not mad about missing out on rotation []

Valentine regrets not seeing Crawford in action []

Energetic Pedroia heart, soul of Red Sox []

Stumble at the start: Bailey injury adds to long list of wounded Red Sox [Alex Speier –]

Source: Bailey injury believed to involve UCL [Alex Speier –]

Pop quiz: Name these Sox champs [Touching All The Bases]

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

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photo credit: AP Photo