FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was diagnosed with bursitis in his left hip during the team's off-day on Wednesday, he said on Saturday morning before going to take at-bats on the Minor League side.
"This is new to me," said Saltalamacchia, who last played in a Grapefruit League game on Tuesday. "Anybody can get it. ... I came in for treatment. All it is, the bursa sac, there's fluid, and sometimes it gets inflamed and it just causes a little pain."
Bursitis can develop in any joint, and typically arises from overuse. Saltalamacchia said during the regular season he would play in his current state, and that he is feeling better. He said he was not going to play on Saturday anyway, because Kelly Shoppach needed to catch starting pitcher Josh Beckett once more before spring ended.
"Ice, take anti-inflammatories," Saltalamacchia said of his treatments. "During the season I'd play on it, easy. But in Spring Training, there's really no real point to do that."
Manager Bobby Valentine said bursitis wasn't a condition he'd seen too much of in players, but he was not around when Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis dealt with bursitis in his hip and designated hitter David Ortiz had it in his heel last season.
"You know, it's a bursitis right. That's what they call it?" Valentine said. "I haven't seen bursitis in a long time. I think my mom had it the last time I heard about that."
Saltalamacchia had two hits and a walk in six plate appearances between two Minor League games.
"Salty had his at-bats and felt good about them," Valentine said. "Salty could catch tomorrow."
Beckett says everything progressing as it should
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Josh Beckett's fourth Grapefruit League start was a stifling performance Saturday afternoon in a 7-4 win for the Red Sox over the Orioles.
Beckett kept the O's in check for five innings at JetBlue Park, letting up one run on two hits and one walk. He threw 40 of 59 pitches for strikes, mixing in two strikeouts.
"I think we're building up fine," Beckett said. "The first three [starts], you're forcing it on yourself, because there's a few innings early on in spring where it's like, hey, this is a bunch. But now that we've gotten into the five-day [rotation], I think everything is progressing the way it's supposed to."
The Orioles' travel lineup for a split-squad day wasn't stocked with their best hitters, but Beckett was nonetheless strong. The fastball and changeup were equally effective, because the latter was on the corners and the former down in the zone.
Manager Bobby Valentine said before the game he would like to see Beckett improve his ability to hold runners. Basestealers were successful against Beckett 31 of 35 times last season.
"I hear -- and this might be real wrong -- I hear there were a couple of pitching coaches here who said it didn't matter," Valentine said. "If you can keep [the runner] on first and get a double play, a lot of times, that means [another] inning [that a pitcher can stay in the game]."
"There's a lot of factors to people stealing bases, honestly," Beckett said after his start. "Part of it is the pitching. We have to do a better job. But there's other aspects as well -- how you field the ball around the base, who's throwing, how good the throw is."
Still in question is who will catch Beckett -- Jason Varitek was his guy -- in the regular season, but Beckett said he's not concerned. Kelly Shoppach caught on Saturday.
"I just come in and throw to whoever they've got back there," Beckett said. "I think right now they're trying them out with everybody. I don't know what's going to be next. They make the lineup up. I'm sure they're trying to see everybody with different guys. I don't know if [Ryan] Lavarnway's going to catch me next time, or [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] or [Shoppach]."
Cook 'pretty happy' with outing, progress
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Red Sox right-hander Aaron Cook came out of his first Spring Training start Saturday afternoon feeling good about the way he pitched, feeling as healthy as he has in a while, and excited to fight for a spot in Boston's rotation.
Cook, who made a two-inning relief appearance last Sunday, threw 3 1/3 innings and allowed one hit and one walk while striking out one batter and inducing one ground-ball double play in Saturday's 3-3 tie against the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. He credited catcher Ryan Lavarnway for helping him get in a good rhythm, using his effective sinker and slider and staying away from an "iffy" curveball.
"That's me. I'm pitching to contact, trying to get the guys out of the box as quick as possible and get our guys off the field so they can come in and hit," Cook said. "I like to pitch to contact. I like to work quick. Today I did everything I went out there to accomplish."
"He pounded the strike zone. He was working fast. He was moving the ball in and out real well," added bench coach Tim Bogar, who served as the manager for the split-squad. "Little work to do on his breaking stuff -- he didn't command it as well as I think he probably wanted to. It got sharper as the game went on. But every time he needed something to happen, he threw that sinker and got a double-play ball. I thought he did well."
Cook said the slow, precautionary way in which he began his spring was difficult at first, but clearly it's starting to pay off for him. Bogar said Cook should throw about 15 or 20 more pitches in his next outing, and Cook believes he still has plenty of time to get stretched out and make a bid for a spot in the starting rotation.
If he doesn't, Cook has a May 1 opt-out clause in his contract. He said he isn't thinking about it, telling his agent to worry about that, leaving Cook to just "go out and play ball."
In the meantime, Cook is feeling as well physically as he has since before he suffered a broken leg in September 2010. With that no longer weighing on his mind, he said he's confident in his mechanics and health and getting plenty of spin on his pitches. On top of all that, he has been reunited with pitching coach Bob McClure, with whom he worked in Colorado.
"I feel really good," Cook said. "It's a good place to be in, so I'm pretty happy."
Bailey pleased with latest spring outing
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey's second outing Friday night, in a 2-1 loss to the Twins, was much more what the team envisioned when they traded for the right-hander this offseason.
Bailey on Monday allowed a run on three hits to the Marlins in his Grapefruit League debut, then rebounded Friday to strike out two in a 1-2-3 inning.
"Just trying to do the same thing during the season, get ahead of guys, work both sides of the plate, and throw my cutter for strikes," Bailey said. "The cutter's a pitch that I'm still kind of working on, it's a little slider-ish right now. Get to the point where I can differentiate between the cutter and the slider with the amount of break."
Bailey said he wasn't doing anything differently and didn't feel any different between the first outing and the second.
"Another one to build on," manager Bobby Valentine said. "I don't think that that's everything he has in the tank. He hit some spots, his cutter moved the way he wanted it to, and he was building on his philosophy. But there was a better effort for sure."
Crawford gets more cage work; Iglesias out
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Carl Crawford (left wrist inflammation) continued to hit in the cage on Saturday, while Jose Iglesias (groin strain) went to get at-bats in a Minor League game. Crawford took 15 swings in the cage off the tee on Friday, the same plan that the team laid out for him Saturday.
"Hit off the tee and hit aggressively at the end, the last five strokes," manager Bobby Valentine said after Crawford hit Saturday. "He has a little bandage on it, a little tape on it that seemed to ease the discomfort."
Crawford's been taking outfield reps, but said he might not work on bunting for now, because that's how the inflammation came about at the start of March, and he wasn't sure when live batting practice could begin. The Red Sox are being firm about how much work Crawford can do.
"Nah, not right now," Crawford said when asked if he felt anything at all before Saturday's hitting session. "It feels OK so far. ... Good to swing, so I'm definitely excited about that. ... Just do what they tell me."
Iglesias went 1-for-5 with a single and reached in an error in his Minor League game Saturday. He tried to run hard out of the box in his fourth at-bat, a groundout to third, and felt fine, Valentine said.
Iglesias was a late scratch from Friday's 2-1 loss to the Twins because Valentine didn't feel the young shortstop was fully right.
"We'll see what that looks like," Valentine said when asked when Iglesias could again see Grapefruit League action. "It's crazy to let him play a game before he's 100 percent. He's going to say he's 100 percent because he wants to play. We have to keep inspecting."
Iglesias is very likely headed to Triple-A Pawtucket to start the season. Before that happens, Valentine may still see more of him, but the Sox skipper already feels Iglesias has already exceeded expectations that were not set very high, offensively.
"What I heard wasn't good, and what I saw wasn't good, and what I was hoping for him to do was make necessary adjustments," Valentine said. "And I think he's made them."
Andrew Miller (left elbow) also reported no problems after throwing an inning Friday night. Outfielder Ryan Sweeney (left quad) again planned to take swings Saturday. "Ryan Sweeney said he probably [needs] one more day of this progress and he'll be fine," Valentine said.
Valentine willing to employ shift in right spot
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox ran a modified version of the infield shift in Friday night's 2-1 loss to the Twins with left-hander Justin Morneau at the plate.
In a typical shift, all four infielders shift over to the right, putting three men on the right side of the infield to have a better chance of retiring pull-happy left-handed hitters. What manager Bobby Valentine elected to do Friday was take Kevin Youkilis from third base and swing him around in between the first baseman and second baseman -- on a conventional shift (a misnomer), Youkilis would've played more of a shortstop position.
Part of the logic in that move was Youkilis' familiarity with first base.
"If we do it, the third baseman will be next to the first baseman," Valentine said. "In our case in particular, because if Youk is on the dirt, it's a very similar ground ball that he caught at first base. He's not around second base to turn double plays. My shortstop is in a position that he covers the most ground on, popups in left field."
Valentine made clear, though, his usage of the play would depend on the situation in the regular season, including who's pitching for the Sox. The point of running the play Friday was practice.
"We might shift against some guys, we might shift a certain guy and then not shift against the same guy," Valentine said. "Depending on who's pitching, right? And whether or not he can hit the spot, or how that guy's going to attack the guy."
Red Sox release veteran righty Silva
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Carlos Silva was released by the Red Sox on Saturday.
Silva, who turns 33 in April, had inflammation in his throwing shoulder and was dropped from the fifth-starter competition in the first week of March. He did not pitch in a Grapefruit League game.
Silva was signed to a Minor League deal. Had he spent the season with the big club, he could've earned a $1 million base salary, and nearly $2 million if he made 30 starts.
The Sox have 55 players in big league camp, including 36 from the 40-man roster, two players on the 60-day disabled list, and 17 non-roster invitees.