Notes: Schilling happy with last tune-up

Notes: Schilling happy with last tune-up

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Sure, Johan Santana was the opposing pitcher. And the Red Sox had their entire starting nine out there for Wednesday's clash with the Twins. But Curt Schilling's main goal for this one was to get it out of the way, and so he did.

The ace fired an efficient 56 pitches over 4 2/3 shutout innings in his final tune-up before Opening Day. He was perfect over the first three innings, and wound up allowing two hits and no walks while striking out one.

"Fifty-five pitches was the target, and to just about get five in with that many pitches was nice," said Schilling.

He'll next take the ball on Monday in Kansas City on a day that has a special feel in every ballpark.

"Nothing like 30, 40, 50,000 on Opening Day," said Schilling.

In this one he kept working on his new pitch -- the changeup. Was he pleased with it?

"Very," he said. "Like I said, I'm ready. I'm ready to start pitching for real."

How about his old friend, the split, which has betrayed him through much of this spring?

"I think the last four or five days, we made some adjustments, and the last two times on the mound and in the bullpen today, it was really, really good," he said. "I felt good about it."

He also feels optimistic about the 2007 Red Sox.

"We're healthy," he said. "Except for Mike [Timlin], we're healthy. When you put [together] a team with this kind of talent and this kind of depth, you want to go into the season healthy, and we did that. That's the first big hurdle, now we have to go out and win games."

Officially official: Though the moves had been in the works for weeks, the Red Sox on Wednesday officially placed Timlin, Matt Clement and Jon Lester on the 15-day disabled list.

All three moves were made retroactive to March 23. Timlin is the only candidate to be ready when the 15 days are up. The first game he'd be eligible to pitch would be April 7, against the Rangers. Clement -- who had rotator cuff and labrum surgery last September -- will likely be moved to the 60-day disabled list when the Red Sox clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

Coco's double-double: For the first time since returning last weekend from a bruised left shoulder, Coco Crisp started a game against a left-handed pitcher. This was significant, because the injury had a far bigger effect on Crisp when he was batting right-handed.

Crisp showed his progress by hammering a pair of doubles against Santana, the American League's reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Coming up: The Red Sox will get a glimpse of the future on Thursday when highly touted prospect Clay Buchholz comes over from Minor League camp to start the Grapefruit League finale against the Devil Rays. He'll be opposed by Edwin Jackson. The first pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m. ET at City of Palms Park.

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.