Notes: Youkilis getting antsy
As wrist swelling goes down, slugger waits for lineup return
TORONTO -- Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis is not going to win any cheerleading awards as he recovers from a painful contusion in his right wrist, sustained when he was drilled by an inside fastball from Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang on Saturday at Fenway Park.
As much as Youkilis wants his team to win during his time on the bench, he is not enjoying the role of spectator.
"It's definitely tough," said Youkilis. "Fortunately for me, it was at this time of year that it happened. I never like watching games. Baseball is not really that much fun to watch in my life. I never really loved to watch baseball. It's more of a sport that I love to play. I don't have that right now, but I'm ready to get back and play again. It's definitely a lot harder doing it from the bench."
The good news is that the swelling in the right wrist is finally going down. Youkilis felt minimal progress on the first two days after the injury. He even did some throwing before Tuesday's game, though he's yet to swing a bat.
"It hurt a little trying to throw full bore," said Youkilis. "I think it can only get better. The good thing about it is trying to move forward, and hopefully every hour it gets better, and hopefully I'll be ready go as soon as possible. I've got to stay optimistic and hopefully it will heal as quick as it can."
It's doubtful Youkilis will play in this three-game series in Toronto, which ends Wednesday night. But perhaps he'll make it back in time for the weekend series at Tampa Bay.
"He got smoked," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He's doing everything he can, but I don't think he can go faster than the healing is going to allow."
Youkilis had the misfortune of being hit on a very sensitive part of his hand.
"The bone and the tendon, it's in a bad spot," Youkilis said. "There's a lot of stuff going on in that spot. The swelling finally went down in my thumb. There's not really much room for it to go anywhere so it goes in the thumb area and the bruising is going down and the swelling is going down. It's just tender on the tendon."
As much as Youkilis wants to get back, he knows it would not be smart to play before he's ready.
"I don't want to be out there where I can't swing or can't do something, or not be able to throw the ball when we need to make a play at second base or something," said Youkilis. "I don't want to hurt this team. I want to get out there as soon as possible. You also have to be smart. Once that tendon heals a little bit more, I'll be ready. I'm not going to hold back once I go."
Coco rests back: Coco Crisp has been playing through back stiffness for the past several days, but Francona opted to give him the night off on Tuesday. Jacoby Ellsbury played center field, with Brandon Moss getting the start in left.
"He got real stiff as the game went on last night," Francona said. "He got here early and got worked on. It's been bugging him for a while. That's kind of where we're at there."
All year long, Crisp has played a tremendous center field, and perhaps his body is starting to pay the price.
"Then you start flying, and going on planes, and diving, it all leads to having it hurt," Francona said. "And I've noticed him the last week, he's a tough kid. You'll see him going to center field between innings and I'll think he's hurting, and then the ball is hit and he's going 100 miles an hour. Then you watch him standing around and you can see he's really favoring it. And then the crack of the bat and he's off. But you can tell it's been bothering him."
Schilling gets extra rest: As it turns out, Daisuke Matsuzaka isn't the only one getting a long breather between starts. Francona announced before Tuesday's game that Curt Schilling won't make his next start for another week. Schilling will take the ball next Tuesday at home against Oakland, which will give him eight days of rest in between starts.
The way the schedule lines up, Francona had the option of giving his starters extra rest now or before the postseason. He felt it would be more beneficial to do it now.
"At some point, there was going to be a three-day extra rest period," Francona said. "We elected to do it now as opposed to a playoff game. It just didn't seem to make a ton of sense. Rest is great, but if there's any rust, let's have it now and get guys on a schedule and turn them loose."
Tim Wakefield will follow Josh Beckett and Matsuzaka will pitch Sunday afternoon against the Rays.
Status quo on Manny: Manny Ramirez, who has missed 20 games in a row with a strained left oblique, is still feeling tenderness that is hindering his return to the lineup.
"I spent some time talking to Manny today," Francona said. "He went out and ran yesterday. He feels it. If I could push a button and make it go away -- he kind of said the same thing. It's not gone away. He's dying to play. He's been working hard. It's not there."
Coming up: Clay Buchholz (3-0, 1.50 ERA) will make his third Major League start -- and first since his Sept. 1 no-hitter -- when he closes out this three-game series for the Red Sox on Wednesday night. The Blue Jays counter with right-hander Jesse Litsch (5-9, 4.37). First pitch is set for 7:07 p.m. ET.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.