Red Sox's 'run prevention' strategy takes another hit with Marco Scutaro out


Boston’s offseason moves to build the team more around “run prevention” are being mocked because the Red Sox have allowed the most runs in the league, but injuries to Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury certainly have helped and now Marco Scutaro is sidelined with a sore elbow.
Scutaro sat out last night’s game with “tennis elbow” that manager Terry Francona said “has actually been bothering him for a while.” The injury is to Scutaro’s left, non-throwing elbow, but he’s still expected to miss several more games after receiving a cortisone shot to dull the pain.
“We know it’s been bothering him when he’s been swinging the bat,” Francona said. “He really wanted to play through it. He’s done a nice job. We talked about it last week a little bit and the more we talked it made sense to do that. He’s going to be just fine.”
Scutaro has basically matched his career averages by hitting .267 with a .359 on-base percentage and .342 slugging percentage, but is just 12-for-54 (.222) with one extra-base hit over the past two weeks and has also committed multiple errors defensively during that time. General manager Theo Epstein revealed yesterday that Scutaro has had trouble closing his glove around balls because of the elbow injury.
Bill Hall started at shortstop in Scutaro’s place last night, with Darnell McDonald in center field and Jeremy Hermida in left field. That’s quite a different story than trotting out Scutaro, Cameron, and Ellsbury in the same spots, so while Boston’s pitching and defense have been a mess so far it’s tough to really draw conclusions about the offseason strategy until the actual planned defense has played together for a while.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.