Gonzalez not hindered by back spasms

Gonzalez not hindered by back spasms

BOSTON -- First baseman Adrian Gonzalez is no longer feeling the effects of back spasms that sidelined him for two games against the Rays on Friday and Saturday. That's a good sign for the Red Sox, who lost some depth at first base on Monday by designating utility man Brent Lillibridge for assignment.

The Red Sox need Gonzalez to remain healthy with few options behind him at first base now that Lillibridge is gone. He was let go to make room on the active roster for outfielder Carl Crawford, who made his season debut on Monday against the White Sox.

"[Gonzalez] says he's rested and feels really good," said Boston manager Bobby Valentine. "I would suspect he's ready to play a lot."

Lillibridge filled in at first base on occasion for the Red Sox after they acquired him from the White Sox in the trade that sent third baseman Kevin Youkilis to Chicago. Mauro Gomez also saw time at first, but he was optioned to Triple-A on Saturday. Earlier this season, Youkilis often spelled Gonzalez.

Valentine said on Monday he would consider playing designated hitter David Ortiz at first base in an emergency situation.

"Possibly, if I had to," the manager said. "Nick Punto has played there and has worked out there. [Catcher Jarrod] Saltalamacchia has played first base, it's not like he's never played."