Is Nomar's Injury More Serious Than Previously Announced? Boston Dirt Dogs reported yesterday that it had "learned through sources with direct, daily contact with Nomar Garciaparra and Victor Garciaparra, Nomar's uncle and private business manager, that the shortstop actually tore the sheath surrounding his achilles tendon," a much more serious injury than what has been reported by the Red Sox. BDD added that Nomar "will be back with the team the first week of June and will start rehabbing with the PawSox at the end of next week."
Theo Epstein quickly disputed the report. "As far as we know, the report is untrue. ... Nomar had some fluid buildup in the sheath due to tendinitis, but it was not torn." ... More Theo: "It's not an accurate report. The injury was as diagnosed. Early on, there was a fluid buildup in the area of the sheath but, no, there was no tear and there is no tear." ... While BDD stands by its report, the Globe quotes Victor Garciaparra as saying "There's no tear."
Epstein also said there was no truth to a Seattle report that Boston has discussed a three-way trade with the Mariners and Royals that would bring Carlos Beltran to Boston in exchange for Johnny Damon and Byung-Hyun Kim. Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi: "I don't know anything about it."
David Heuschkel asks a reasonable question: "Lenny DiNardo and Mark Malaska are the 11th and 12th pitchers on a 12-man staff. So why is manager Terry Francona using them in crucial situations when he has four quality relievers?" Heuschkel quotes Francona as saying (a) he had to go to the bullpen "early" and (b) "I just wanted to get to the top of the order" before bringing in Embree. DiNardo faced the 6-7-8-9 hitters before being pulled, so Francona clearly expected DiNardo to pitch the entire 6th inning.
Tito apparently learned from his mistake, because last night, with the game tied 3-3 and the bases loaded with Blue Jays in the 6th inning, Francona called on Embree, who needed only 4 pitches to snuff out the Toronto rally. ... "That saved the game for us right there," Francona said. Exactly! If Francona had applied that same logic back on May 9 (Royals) and May 13 (Toronto), Boston might be 23-13 rather than 21-15.
Elsewhere: Garciaparra is scheduled to play in simulated games this weekend. ... Ellis Burks took BP for the first time on Friday. ... Bill Mueller was scratched from Friday's lineup with inflammation in his right knee and will likely miss both games this weekend. ... Kim made his first Pawtucket start last night and allowed three runs and three hits in two innings. He struck out one, walked two and threw 46 pitches. (More game info and box score here.)
Good news: The Yankees will not be trading for Jose Vidro. He agreed to a 4-year, $30 million contract extension with the Expos on Friday. ... New York Post: The Red Sox are talking to Aaron Boone, who expects to be playing ball in August.
Bronson Arroyo returns to the rotation this afternoon. However, he has been battling the flu all week. "[I]f I feel healthy, I would think 100 [pitches] would be fine. But I don't know how I'm going to feel after I go out there and throw." ... He faces Pat Hentgen at 1:05 pm.