Notes: Nixon to the DL

Notes: Nixon to the DL

BOSTON -- Trot Nixon will be glad to see July come to an end. Leading the team with a .332 average at the start of the month, the left-handed-hitting right fielder has slumped to an average of .294. As if things couldn't get worse, Nixon, who has played with the Red Sox since 1996, was mentioned in trade rumors.

Continuing in his disappointing trend, Nixon closed out the month by straining his right bicep muscle after a hard swing against the Angels on Sunday night and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to Monday's game against the Indians.

"Trot has, what they explained to me, a Grade 2 strain in his bicep," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Grade 2, from what I understand, is moderate. It's not insignificant [and] it's not horrible. It's right in the middle."

"I believe it's the biceps muscle and not the biceps tendon," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. "You hate to put timetables on these things. [It's] worthy of a DL We're probably looking at three weeks or so. That's just a very rough estimate."

While Nixon spends time on the DL, Wily Mo Pena will fill the void in right field. Pena filled in for center fielder Coco Crisp during his injury early in the season and will get the chance to prove to Red Sox Nation that trading Bronson Arroyo for him was hardly a mistake.

"[Pena] played a lot last time when Coco was out and did a very good job, so I'm sure he's gonna get a lot of at-bats," Francona said. "We want to play Gabe [Kapler] some, too, in center and in right. We'll make it reach."

"Obviously it will hurt quite a bit to be without Trot, but that's one of the reasons Wily Mo Pena is on this team, because if we had an outfielder that went down, he'd be ready to step in," Epstein said. "We'll get to see what he can do over the next few months, and hopefully he'll do as a good a job as when he filled in for Coco earlier in the year."

Pena suffered a broken wrist at the end of May and entered Monday's game with a .320 average, four home runs and 21 RBIs. In his first at-bat of Monday's series opener with the Indians, Pena laced a two-run triple to center field.

"He'll be fine. He's not a bad outfielder. As we've seen with people who haven't been in our right field, there can be some adventures," Francona said. "It happened to Trot last night, and he's been out there [awhile]. It's a tricky place to be. He throws good enough to play out there, he moves good enough and the more homers he hits the better he'll be defensively."

Minor setbacks: After making a rehab appearance with Class A Lowell on Friday night, reliever Keith Foulke was forced to scratch an outing with Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday because of back pain.

"Foulkie's back is kind of grabbing at him a little bit still, so he's not going to throw," Francona said. "I think there was some hope that maybe tomorrow he could go throw, but I don't think that's going to happen. We're kind of at the mercy of his back right now. When it gets better, we'll get him moving again."

Foulke pitched one perfect inning on Friday night, striking out one and throwing 10 of his 12 pitches for strikes. Foulke had not pitched since June 11 because of tendinitis in his right elbow.

One of Foulke's bullpen replacements, Manny Delcarmen, has been bothered by irritation on his right thumb for the past few days. The discomfort has affected his curveball, but the rookie should be returning shortly and was throwing on Monday night.

"We'll see how he feels. We definitely wanted to stay away from him last night [and] if we have to tonight, we will," Francona said. "I think he's getting better. If we're gonna stay away from a guy, I want him to be good when we go to him."

"I don't want to wait two or three days, rush a guy back and then go backwards three or four days, so we're gonna make sure he's fine. I don't know that that means he's gonna throw his curveball everywhere he wants to. If he hangs one, I want it to be because he hung it and not because his thumb is bothering him."

Trading places: With the return of David Wells to the mound on Monday, reliever Jermaine Van Buren was sent down to Pawtucket again to make room for the southpaw. Van Buren allowed the Angels four runs and three hits in one-third of an inning on Sunday night.

"We talked to Jermaine last night. [It] didn't really have anything to do with the outing last night," Francona said. "[We're] just trying to cut out space, make everything reach and win some games."

Matt Clement was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for the recently acquired reliever Bryan Corey. Corey was acquired from the Texas Rangers on Sunday for Minor League pitcher Luis Mendoza and was scheduled to arrive at Fenway Park on Monday. He is 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA in 16 appearances with the Rangers.

Coming in from Texas, Francona joked about Corey's arrival to Boston, in reference to Doug Mirabelli's extravagant entrance to Fenway on May 1.

"Only Mirabelli gets [a police escort]. If he gets a knuckleball, we'll get him a limo. If not, he's gotta get his cab," Francona said.

Coming up: Kyle Snyder, who was planned to start on Tuesday, pitched in relief on Monday. The Red Sox will announce Tuesday's starter after Monday's game, while southpaw C.C. Sabathia (7-7, 3.82) will take the mound for the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

Howard Kussoy is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.