FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though his team will be without Carl Crawford for a large chunk of April, if not the whole month, manager Bobby Valentine sounds comfortable with what he has to work with in the outfield.
Jacoby Ellsbury will be the mainstay, playing center field every day. That leaves Cody Ross, Ryan Sweeney and Darnell McDonald to share the corner spots.
From what Valentine has seen, Sweeney will stay in right field. He also likes the way Ross has looked in left during spring, protecting the Green Monster-replica.
If the Red Sox are facing a lefty, and both McDonald and Ross are in the lineup, Ross would probably move to right.
"I'm very comfortable with Ryan Sweeney and Cody playing any position in the outfield, even though I haven't seen Ryan in center," Valentine said. "Darnell, I think is capable of playing the corners. I don't really foresee Ryan Sweeney playing left."
Rejuvenated Ross feeling good at the plate
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After blasting a pair of towering homers on Friday to bring his Grapefruit League total up to six, Cody Ross had one main motive.
"I just plan [to] keep doing it, keep going," said Ross.
The 2010 postseason hero never felt as good in '11 as he does this year.
Not just is Ross rejuvenated by his winter move from the Giants to the Red Sox, but he is reaping the benefits of a winter filled with searching for his swing.
"I changed a few things," Ross said. "I watched a lot of video this offseason. I just worked on my swing a lot. Instead of playing as much golf as I planned on this offseason, I really worked on my swing. I just focused on staying back and staying relaxed. One of the main keys was starting earlier. It feels good. Like I said, hopefully I can continue with it."
At some point, Ross might have to fight for playing time in Boston's outfield. But with Carl Crawford starting the season on the disabled list, Ross should be in there just about every day.
"He's been a joy to have around and he's launched 'em," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "He's played great defense that's gone unnoticed and he's hit a variety of pitches over that left-field fence."
Ellsbury fine after fouling ball off right knee
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- About the only thing a manager looks for from established stars at this time of Spring Training is good health. That's why Bobby Valentine had at least a mild scare when Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury hammered a foul ball off his right knee in the top of the fifth inning on Friday and had to exit the game in the bottom of the inning.
As it turns out, Ellsbury should be fine.
Wearing a bandage on his knee after the game, Ellsbury gave a thumbs up when asked how he was doing.
"Yeah, you don't want to see that this late in the spring, but it was a liner right off his knee," said Valentine. "He wanted ice on it ASAP."
Ellsbury wasn't scheduled to make Saturday's trip to Port Charlotte even before hitting the ball off his knee.
Miller set to resume game action Monday
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox lefty Andrew Miller probably doesn't have enough innings to make the team out of Spring Training, but he is ready to resume game action.
Miller's appearance on Monday will be his first since March 20, the night he walked off the mound with a left hamstring strain.
The lanky lefty was originally a candidate to crack Boston's rotation, but those plans had to be halted because of injuries. Miller has appeared in just three Grapefruit League games, logging three innings.
He will likely start the season on the disabled list so he can get more reps in.
"He could have thrown [in a game] tomorrow, but they said they didn't want to rush him. He's feeling good," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.