Nolan needs to get rollin'

Unless something changes in the next 24 hours, manager Dave Trembley said closer Mike Gonzalez will pitch against the Phillies tomorrow in Clearwater, rather than appear in another Triple-A game in Sarasota.

As I approached Nolan Reimold's locker this morning, he grew sentimental for the days when I would check on his sore Achilles.

Anything beats talk of his 0-for-19.

I figured that I was doing him a favor. He was tired of updating reporters on his health and having his gait analyzed.

Be careful what you ask for.

So, about that slump...

"I'd rather talk about the Achilles than be 0-for-19," he said, grinning.

"I'm just getting it out of the way. Doing it on purpose."

But seriously, folks...

Reimold said he's "very, very, very rusty" (so was Chevy Chase's son in the Vacation movies).

"I'm doing some things wrong," he said. "I fixed some things and was doing great in BP, but I've just got to carry it into the game. My swing's long. I've got to shorten it up.

"I don't really care about the 0-for-19, but I want to get it going a little bit before the season starts. Now, if I'm 0-for-the-spring, then there will be some problems."

Reimold laughs at the mere idea. He doesn't seem to be pressing, during this interview or at the plate.

"If it was last year and I was 0-for-19 - I knew I wasn't going to make the team anyway, but I'd still be probably a lot more upset than I am now," he said. "I'm just a little out of whack. I've got to fix some things."

The fact that he knows it's an 0-for-19 slump tells me that he's keeping track and is at least mildly disturbed by the numbers.

"Is it 19?" he said, quickly recovering. "I kept it in my head."

Reimold says he's been "picked to click" for a while, referring to an informal poll taken many mornings inside the clubhouse - usually by reliever Will Ohman - to guess which player will have a big game.

"I've never clicked, though," Reimold says with a deadpan delivery. "I'm due. The law of averages says I've got to click at some point."

As I thanked Reimold for the interview and began to move away from his locker, he left me with these parting words:

"Go easy on me in your blog."

You've got it.

Here's the Red Sox lineup for the game in Fort Myers, which I won't be attending:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
J.D. Drew RF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Bill Hall LF
Marco Scutaro SS

Tim Wakefield RHP


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