Sox notes: Jammed thumb keeps Victorino out of lineup

Sox notes: Jammed thumb keeps Victorino out of lineup
September 19, 2013, 7:00 pm
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BOSTON – Shane Victorino is not in the Red Sox starting lineup for the series finale against the Orioles Thursday night at Fenway Park.
 
Victorino – who was pinch-hit for in the 12th inning of the loss to the O’s on Wednesday – has been dealing with a jammed right thumb, manager John Farrell said.  Victorino is considered day to day.
 
For about the past week, Victorino has been on a schedule that roughly gives him a day off after playing two days. Still, Farrell said that is more the way the schedule has fallen rather than by any design.
 
“When we can, or when it’s more needed on one day rather than another,” Farrell said.
 
Farrell said he is not concerned that Victorino might not be available for the postseason.
 
“NO, other than the fact that he does need some time right now to get ahead of it,” Farrell said. “But there’s not an overriding concern that he’s not  going to be available.”
 
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The Sox rotation for the weekend series against the Blue Jays will be left-hander Jon Lester on Friday, followed by right-hander Clay Buchholz, and lefty Felix Doubront. That flip-flops Buchholz and Doubront from the original schedule. Farrell wanted to separate his left-handers. Jake Peavy will start the first game in Colorado on Tuesday. The starter for Wednesday has not yet been announced.
   
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There was no update on Jacoby Ellsbury. He is not yet at the point of beginning baseball activities yet. Improvements are being made, Farrell said, but more on the physical side.
 
Farrell said “that’s a possibility” that Ellsbury won't return before the last weekend of the regular season in Baltimore.
 
“He’s going to be back in the lineup when he’s ready,” Farrell said. “I’d love to be able to give you an exact day. But we’re still working toward that.”
 
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Closer Koji Uehara pitched an inning in each of the past two games (beginning another streak, with six straight batters retired, after a lead-off triple and sacrifice fly on Tuesday). Asked if he'd be available on Thursday, Farrell replied: “We’ll see. Once he goes through his throwing program today we’ll get more of a read on it.”

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Pitching prospects Henry Owens, Matt Barnes, and Anthony Ranaudo were at Fenway Park the past few days, observing the major league team. Triple-A pitching coach Rich Sauveur worked with the three pitchers. Sauveur was in uniform Thursday, working with the major league team.
 
“We just got them exposed to some of the things our pitchers go through both in terms of a team advance report or pitcher-catcher meeting to see how it’s applied in-game," Farrell said.  "First time they’ve sat in the stands here during a regular season game and understand the speed of it a little more. And that same time, there’s a guy that they were pitching with a month ago that’s pitching here, a couple of guys. That might serve as a reminder to them how close they are.”
 
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In the 11th inning Tuesday night, Farrell chose not to pinch-hit right-handed hitting Xander Bogaerts for left-handed hitting Stephen Drew against O’s lefty T.J. McFarland. Asked if preferred Drew in that role, if it was a matter of showing respect for a veteran, or to pre-empt a possible subsequent move by the O’s, Farrell replied:
 
“Well, last night was what it was. Going forward, when there’s maybe more of a sense of urgency with postseason situations, I’m sure that’ll be something that Stephen and I will talk to well in advance, when that situation may come up again. Well aware what Stephen is doing against left-handed pitching [batting .183 with a .237 on-base percentage, and .331 slugging percentage]. But there might be a time for that.”
 
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Orioles pitching prospect Kevin Gausman pitched two impressive innings Wednesday. He struck out five, throwing 28 pitches, 21 for strikes.
 
“There’s a lot,” Farrell said when asked what impressed him. “Arm strength, action, strike-throwing ability. To think that someone 14 months ago was on the campus of LSU and is now pitching in a pennant race, it is impressive, both in raw stuff and just composure, and attacking strike zone. He’s got great stuff.”