09/02/2003 9:40 PM ET
Notes: Abad joins cause
Sox add left-handed bat to bench; Jones recalled
CHICAGO -- For the first time since losing DH Jeremy Giambi for good on Aug. 5, the Red Sox have a left-handed pinch-hitter.
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
This, after first baseman-outfielder Andy Abad was promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. The move came a day after rosters were expanded to 40.
The Sox originally planned on waiting until Pawtucket was finished with its postseason before promoting Abad, but they decided that the 30-year-old minor league veteran would be best served helping the Sox in their pursuit for the playoffs.
Abad -- who was with the Red Sox organization for eight years before going to Japan for a year and then the Oakland A's -- came back as a minor league free agent this season.
He hit .304 with 13 homers and 93 RBIs in 504 at-bats for Pawtucket.
"He led the [International] League in RBIs," said Red Sox manager Grady Little. "He can hit. He's always been a hitter. This will be good for him to get an opportunity to add to his total of at-bats in the big leagues -- I think he has one."
Little was correct. Abad's lone Major League at-bat -- an out -- came for the A's in 2001.
Abad was the only new face to come on board Tuesday, but he wasn't the only addition. The Sox also recalled right-handed reliever Todd Jones from Class A Augusta.
Jones never officially reported to Augusta, but the Sox assigned him there on Friday in order to add Lou Merloni to the roster after last week's trade with the Padres.
Righty reliever Ramiro Mendoza, who now has an ailing back after originally going on the DL with right knee tendinitis, still isn't ready to be activated.
The Sox added catcher Bill Haselman to the roster Monday in addition to pitchers Casey Fossum and Brandon Lyon.
In order to make room for Abad on the 40-man roster, the Sox designated minor league right-hander Ryan Cameron for assignment.
Ortiz stands by Manny: David Ortiz has been more than adequate in the cleanup spot since Manny Ramirez became sick last week. However, Ortiz thinks it's unfair to criticize Ramirez for how long it has taken him to return.
Ramirez was available for the first time in five games on Tuesday, but Little opted to keep his star slugger on the bench.
Ortiz thinks it's unfair to criticize Ramirez for saying he was too weak to pinch-hit Monday afternoon in Philadelphia.
"He's been sick," Ortiz said. "It's not like you're going to be 100 percent right away. He doesn't want to go up there and pinch-hit, trying to be the man and coming up with negative results."
Ortiz also said that pain tolerance depends on the individual player.
"I'm the kind of guy, you have to beat me down for me to quit," Ortiz said. "That's the kind of guy I am. I never have anything easy. I have everything the hard way. I can't give up. That's the way I am, David Ortiz. But not everybody is like that. Sometimes you have to respect other people's position."
Bullpen availability: Though the Boston bullpen has been taxed the last few days, Little expected everyone but left-hander Alan Embree to be available Tuesday.
Mike Timlin, who became ill on the team's flight to Chicago, was feeling better and Little thought he'd be well enough to pitch.
Little said that Timlin's illness had nothing to do with the pharyngitis that first sidelined ace Pedro Martinez and then Ramirez.
"He was just a little under the weather. He didn't look too good on the plane, but then again, that's nothing out of the ordinary," quipped Little.
Down on the farm: The PawSox defeated Syracuse Monday for a franchise-record 83rd victory. Kevin Youkilis led the cause, smacking a walk-off single in the 10th inning. ... Catcher Kelly Shoppach went 3-for-4 with a homer, leading Double-A Portland to a 6-4 victory in its season finale. ... In his final game of the season, shortstop Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-4 with a double in a 4-3 win for Class A Augusta.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.