PHILADELPHIA -- Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis went 1-for-3 with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, making him 2-for-5 in his two rehab starts. He was scheduled to play seven innings on Saturday, and manager Bobby Valentine said Youkilis is likely still a couple of games away.
To Valentine, Youkilis' comfort at the plate is the central issue now, as opposed to health.
"When he feels that he's been put through the test, maybe seen a lefty, a righty, whatever he as an experienced hitter feels he needs," Valentine said. "And then, of course, the medical people giving them the green light. But it seems like the green light's on."
Youkilis told the Providence Journal after Friday's rehab game that the ball is in the Sox's court for the timing of his return.
"I feel good. That's the decision for the Red Sox to make [to call me up]," Youkilis said. "I'm just following their orders. When they tell me to come up, I'll come up."
Valentine said Saturday he had told Youkilis to pass on to the team when he feels he's ready, while acknowledging there is rehab schedule in place.
"I told Kevin when he left, when he feels like he's seen the ball enough and he feels good, to let us know," Valentine said. "There's a schedule that's been put out there by the training staff, too. So it's either going to be a little before that schedule or that schedule, I'm not sure."
Ross sits; Sweeney, Papi banged up in win
PHILADELPHIA -- Cody Ross may need further examinations, while Red Sox teammates David Ortiz and Ryan Sweeney came away from a 7-5 win over the Phillies on Saturday feeling less than great.
The X-rays on Ross' left foot came back negative on Saturday, but he walked around the clubhouse with a clear limp after fouling a ball off himself Friday.
"Yeah, I'm still trying to walk on it gingerly, just to let it heal and get some blood flow in there," Ross said. "I could probably if I really tried hard walk normal, but they want me to take it easy."
Further tests may be done once the swelling goes down. While manager Bobby Valentine has not ruled out a trip to the disabled list, Ross felt one was not necessary.
"No," Ross said. "There's no broken bones."
"Got to get all the swelling down," Valentine said.
Ross' injury left the Red Sox outfield thin, and another Sox outfielder was shaken up after a fantastic play on Saturday. Sweeney dove on to the warning track in the seventh to rob Carlos Ruiz in right-center.
"I've got a little bit of a headache right now. My wind was fine," Sweeney said. "I think I've just got like whiplash or something, because I hit the warning track and it was pretty hard, because you're running so fast and then your momentum kind of comes to a stop, so my neck is a little jolted."
Ortiz tripped running to first base and said he wasn't sure if he could go play again on Sunday. Ortiz was already battling a stomach ailment.
"I hit myself hard when I went down," Ortiz said, pointing to his right hip. "Hopefully it's not anything bad."
Salty takes licking, but back in lineup Saturday
PHILADELPHIA -- Twelve stitches and less than a day after some odd bounces left him hurt, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was back in the Red Sox's lineup on Saturday.
Saltalamacchia received 12 stitches on Friday after a ball clipped him on the left ear while he was catching in a 6-4 loss to the Phillies on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. A Daniel Bard pitch ricocheted off Phillies hitter Ty Wigginton, then into Saltalamacchia's left arm before hitting his ear.
"It was definitely scary anytime it hits you in the head like that," Saltalamacchia said. "It was pretty direct on after it hit off my arm. I went to the doctor [Friday] night, went to the hospital, and they said everything came back negative, no signs of any concussions or anything. I just had to get some stitches, and good to go.
"It hurts. But as far as any kind of pain moving or hitting or anything, it doesn't bother me."
Saltalamacchia said he has to keep the area clean a few times a day. In making sure Saltalamacchia was not injured beyond what was visible, he went for a CT scan.
Saltalamacchia told manager Bobby Valentine on Friday night he should be good to go for Saturday.
"Salty checked out well at the hospital [Friday] night, he texted me as soon as it was over, said it was ready to go," Valentine said. "Got the clearance, but we waited until he came out today. When he got in the training room, trainers gave him the green light."
Saltalamacchia wears a traditional two-piece catcher's mask. He said he tried the hockey-style catcher's mask -- which may have prevented the injury -- in high school, but was not comfortable with it. He acknowledged how unlikely the incident was.
"It was weird because when it went to go hit [Wigginton], originally, when you throw the ball in, you flinch away [from the batter], just so the backspin doesn't hit you," Saltalamacchia said. "That's kind of what I did. It hit his forearm and perfectly hit my forearm and went right into the ear.
"It went straight down and sliced [the ear] and then, in the middle, it went through. It ripped through and they had to stitch in the back, too."
Cook nears rehab stint; Dice-K's next start iffy
PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Cook threw a bullpen session Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Manager Bobby Valentine said the team has established a plan for Cook to get on a rehab assignment, but only once Cook's legs are ready. Cook needed stitches in his left knee after his only big league appearance of 2012 on May 5.
"Cook threw a bullpen [session] today, and we do have a plan," Valentine said. "He's running, he ran [Friday], he's running today, when he gets his legs underneath him, I think we're going to try to get him on a rehab assignment."
The stitches made it hard for Cook to keep his legs in shape.
"I couldn't do much running with the stitches in the knee," he said. "We've been doing the [simulation] games. I've been able to ride the bike. I feel like things are progressing the way they need to.
"I feel great. No issues, no setbacks from here on out ... I'd love to tell you one start, two starts, but until I go out there and do it, I really don't know."
Another potential member of Boston's rotation, Daisuke Matsuzaka, remains scheduled to start Tuesday for Triple-A Pawtucket, but Valentine made that seem less than a guarantee.
"It seems like he's a go, but I don't know," Valentine said. "Those 95 pitches [he threw Thursday] may be a little more than he's ready for, but we'll see. I think his elbow feels great."
Valentine indicated the left side of Matsuzaka's neck may still be an issue, and said the righty received an injection for it in Spring Training. Matsuzaka cannot make a Minor League start after May 22 because of the 30-day limit on rehab assignment for pitchers unless a physical condition necessitates it.
"You know that thing up here, that he kind of gets injected, I think it's a chronic thing," Valentine said. "I think he's had it for [awhile]."
Valentine reflects on first ejection with Sox
PHILADELPHIA -- Bobby Valentine's first ejection as Red Sox manager Friday night in a 6-4 loss to the Phillies had some misdirected Big League Chew. First-base umpire Gary Darling, who tossed Valentine out of the game, was chewing gum, and it fell onto a close-ranged Valentine.
"No, it's never happened before," Valentine said.
Asked if Valentine caught it, he said, "No, it hit me in the eye."
Valentine was arguing that Marlon Byrd had beaten shortstop Jimmy Rollins' throw to first base for the second out of the ninth inning because first baseman Ty Wigginton's foot was off the bag.
"I think it was on the bag for awhile, I'm not sure it was on the bag when the ball was caught," Valentine said. "It's a close play, it's a play worth arguing. ... I just was arguing the play. It was close enough to argue."
Valentine acknowledged the difficulty of the call. "You have to slow it down, that's why it's a close play," he said. "What are you going to do? We're all human."
In a coincidence, a figure central to the play, Wigginton, made his Major League debut under Valentine with the Mets in 2002.