Monday Red Sox Notes: Kevin Youkilis, Aaron Cook, Jackie Bradley

May 6, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis (20) watches the game from the dugout during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

It's been a slow, lazy day in Red Sox Nation as we all look out to the rainy Boston sky and wonder whether we'll even be playing tonight. Still, a few bits and pieces have trickled in, so here we go.

Kevin Youkilis has been getting back onto the field of late as he works his way back from the back injury. Today, Bobby Valentine told the media that the third baseman took a few grounders today, and has been swinging the bat in some soft toss batting practice.

Youkilis has been out since April 28--a period which has seemed awfully short thanks to the impressive replacement they've found in Will Middlebrooks, who has already contributed more offensively to the team than Youkilis did with half-again as many trips to the plate.

For fans who are hoping to see that run from Will Middlebrooks continue, this may not come as tremendous news, especially given what Bobby Valentine had to say. As Alex Speier reports on twitter:

He did say, in gen, no purpose served by keeping good young player on bench w/o defined role

So that sounds like a demotion. Always a popular move when it's the producing player being sent down...

Aaron Cook is also back at work, according to WEEI's DJ Bean, throwing three simulated innings as he looks to return from that nasty gash to his knee we all had plastered on our televisions about a week back.

"It's going well," he said of his recovery from a gash incurred in his start on May 5. "It's just a matter of getting the stitches out and then coming off the DL."

While Cook says there are no clear plans with what to do with him once he's returned from injury, a return to the rotation would seem the most likely given the current state of the Boston bullpen. Then again, the obvious choice for him to replace, Clay Buchholz, has just shown his first sign of life this season. Josh Beckett has had all of two bad starts, as much as the golf narrative has encouraged fans to hate him, and the back-end of the rotation still hasn't really given the team enough of a reason to make a change there.

Especially with Daisuke possibly headed back, the answer for the Sox may be to send Cook somewhere else.

*****

To finish up the injury news: hey, look, Ryan Kalish lives!

*****

Meanwhile, down on the farm, Evan Lepler of the Salem Sox says that Jackie Bradley is pretty awesome. That is to say .507 OBP awesome. So that's a decent start.

Really, I just wanted to give everyone a chance to talk about how awesome Jackie Bradley is, because wow, he's pretty awesome, and today has been a very slow day.

So chat away.

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