Unfortunately for the Red Sox outfielder, his hopes were not rewarded. After sustaining a strained left hip flexor while running out a ground ball in the fourth inning of Friday's game against the Indians, Baldelli showed up at Fenway Park on Saturday feeling more tender than the team had anticipated.
Baldelli, who suffers from a muscle fatigue disorder that slows his ability to recover from injuries, is expected to undergo an MRI on Monday morning, the results of which will dictate his availability for the Red Sox's American League Division Series matchup against the Angels.
Though Baldelli's postseason fate remains to be seen, the same can't be said for an assortment of players whose destinations were revealed by manager Terry Francona on Saturday.
Though neither will appear on Boston's 25-man ALDS roster, catcher George Kottaras and pitcher Junichi Tazawa are both scheduled to fly with the team to Anaheim on Monday afternoon. Tazawa is slated to return home to Japan following the first two games of the series against the Angels.
"We want him to experience a little bit of what we're doing, and what he can hopefully be a part of," Francona said of Tazawa, a 23-year-old rookie who went 2-3 with 7.46 ERA in six appearances (four starts) this season. "He needs to go home, but we'll give him a little taste."
Barring any further setbacks with right fielder J.D. Drew's left shoulder soreness, outfielder Josh Reddick will join pitcher Michael Bowden and catcher Dusty Brown at the team's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., during the ALDS.
Brown and Kottaras will both be on alert in case of an emergency.
"That gives us a guy [in Kottaras] that's been with us all year and a guy [in Brown] that we think is a good defensive catcher," Francona said. "So if we run into a problem, we have one guy with us and one guy preparing to be with us. Hopefully we have everything covered there."
Not yet covered is the playoff status of utility infielder Chris Woodward, who is currently with his wife in Tampa, Fla., following the birth of their son on Thursday night.
"He would like to come back, but he's not able to yet," Francona said. "His wife had the baby, and the baby's OK, but there are some extenuating circumstances. He needs to be home, and there's a good reason. He has our blessing to be home."
Woodward's absence, coupled with Nick Green's back injury, could open the door for Jed Lowrie to crack the postseason roster.
Francona also announced that pitchers Fernando Cabrera, Hunter Jones and Dustin Richardson will be sent home following Sunday's regular-season finale.
The Red Sox must decide on their 25-man ALDS roster by the day of Game 1.
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.