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Ailing Baldelli left off Sox's ALDS roster

Ailing Baldelli left off Sox's ALDS roster

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ANAHEIM -- The Red Sox waited as long as they could to see if Rocco Baldelli's left hip flexor strain could improve enough to enable him to be on the American League Division Series roster, but the outfielder simply didn't have enough time to heal.

When Boston submitted its roster on Thursday, Brian Anderson and Joey Gathright were the reserve outfielders, while Baldelli, who sustained the injury on Friday night at Fenway Park while running out a ground ball, was left inactive.

Though the Red Sox have a strong starting outfield trio in Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew, Baldelli could have become an important piece in this series because of the presence of Angels left-handers Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders, who will start Games 3 and 4, respectively.

In 93 at-bats against southpaws this season, Baldelli hit .293 with four homers and 15 RBIs.

"We had the trainers go down and see him this morning," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He visited with [general manager] Theo [Epstein]. It wasn't going to reach. I think we wanted to take every chance we could to see if there was a lot of improvement, and it just wasn't [improving], so we didn't want to make a mistake."

While the Red Sox have treated the injury aggressively, Baldelli still hasn't progressed to any type of baseball activities.

GAME 1 LINEUP
The Red Sox are using a very familiar lineup in Game 1 of the ALDS.
Player Position
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
Jason Bay LF
Mike Lowell 3B
J.D. Drew RF
Alex Gonzalez SS

"He can't run. He hasn't even been able to swing yet," Francona said. "He's been doing some dry swings, but that's about it."

There was a good chance that Baldelli would have started Games 3 and 4. Anderson won't get a start. His value will mainly be as a bat off the bench and a defensive replacement. Gathright gives Francona a pinch-runner.

With Baldelli out of the mix, left-handed hitters J.D. Drew and David Ortiz will now likely start against the southpaws at Fenway.

"I guess if Rocco was here, we would have played him," Francona said. "But J.D. and David are good players. I have no problem playing them at all. They might have played anyway. This certainly makes it easier [to decide]."

As for the rest of the roster, there were no other surprises.

The club is going with 11 pitchers as follows:

Daniel Bard; Josh Beckett; Clay Buchholz; Paul Byrd; Jon Lester; Daisuke Matsuzaka; Hideki Okajima; Jonathan Papelbon; Ramon Ramirez; Takashi Saito; Billy Wagner.

Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek are the two catchers.

The seven infielders are Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Alex Gonzalez, Mike Lowell, Casey Kotchman and Jed Lowrie.

The Red Sox and Angels play Game 1 on Thursday at 9:37 p.m. ET.

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

{"content":["division_series" ] }
{"content":["division_series" ] }
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