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08/29/08 6:58 PM ET

Sox call up Ross, send Casey to DL

Boston going with veteran as third catcher down stretch

BOSTON -- It was one of those roster-move fiestas at Fenway Park prior to the Red Sox's matchup with Chicago on Friday.

With Josh Beckett heading to the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow, Boston called up catcher David Ross from Triple-A Pawtucket.

In addition, the Red Sox moved Sean Casey to the 15-day disabled list with a neck strain, retroactive to Aug. 20. Shortstop Julio Lugo, who suffered a severely strained quad on July 11 against Baltimore, was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day disabled list in order to make room for Ross on the 40-man roster.

The Sox signed Ross on Aug. 22 to a Minor League contract and assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket. By being brought up to the active roster in Beckett's abbreviated absence, Ross has the opportunity to get acquainted with Boston's pitching staff. He also needed to be promoted by Aug. 31 in order to be eligible for the postseason roster.

"We did want, in September, a veteran presence as a third catcher," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "We have two kids [Dusty Brown and George Kottaras] in Triple-A, but if you're looking for a third catcher, that's probably not the ideal scenario. When he became available, it seemed to make sense for our organization."

Ross is scheduled to be the team's third catcher for the stretch run. Rosters will expand on Monday, two days before Beckett can come off the DL. He's a career .223 hitter with 60 homers and 154 RBIs as a member of the Dodgers, Pirates, Padres and, most recently, the Reds.

Francona said Casey received an MRI on Friday, though the results were not disclosed. He last played in a 7-2 victory over the Orioles on Aug. 19 -- going 1-for-3.

Francona also touched on the status of J.D. Drew, who is on the 15-day DL with stiffness in his back.

"J.D. really improved today," Francona said. "Dramatically improved in his words. That's good. We'll see where that takes him. He's got to start doing some strengthening, some agility as the medical guys deem [necessary]. But he does feel better. He said it's the first day he was able to get across the room without a lot of pain."

The Sox will announce a corresponding move to fill the open spot on their active roster following Friday's contest with the White Sox.

Mark Remme is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.