Farrell sets rotation through weekend

Farrell sets rotation through weekend
September 17, 2013, 6:30 pm
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BOSTON – Red Sox manager John Farrell has set his rotation through the weekend series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Right-hander Ryan Dempster is starting Tuesday night at Fenway against the Orioles. He will be followed by Jake Peavy and John Lackey. Left-hander Jon Lester will start the series opener against the Jays on Friday followed by lefty Felix Doubront and right-hander Clay Buchholz.
 
The Sox have an off-day on Monday before two games at Colorado, and another off-day on Sept. 26 before the final series of the regular season at Baltimore.
 
Farrell said Lackey, Lester, and Buchholz will start the games in Baltimore, with the order yet to be determined.
 
At this point, the Sox would have four off-days before beginning their ALDS on Oct. 4.
 
“As rotation plays out over next three series, those three guys are going to be rested and available to pitch in that series,” Farrell said. “We haven’t mapped it out who’s going to start Friday, Saturday, or Sunday there. We also have to balance two off-days next week and then the potential for four days off as well, and not have a guy get too far away form a start.”
 
Doubront has not pitched since Sept. 6. He threw a simulated game Tuesday afternoon.
 
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Asked if his playoff rotation would be determined by merit or match-ups, Farrell replied:
 
“We haven’t even looked at it that close. We don’t know who we’re playing so it can’t be matchups at this point. We’re going on those three guys [Lester, Buchholz, Lackey] rested enough to pitch in Baltimore. We’ll be sure that we get everybody to the mound prior to the end of that weekend to make sure we get the most action leading into what might be fallowing that. We’ll delve into that more once that gets closer.”

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There is the potential the Sox could clinch a playoff berth as well as home field advantage throughout the playoffs, by virtue of the best record in the AL, before the final series in Baltimore. Farrell was asked how he will balance maintaining the integrity of the regular season vs. getting enough rest for his players before the postseason.
 
“My answer would be consistent with the way we approach every day,” he said. “And that is with respect for the game. There’s a certain integrity that we have to uphold, and fully respect that. So time will indicate where we are when we get there.”
 
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Jacoby Ellsbury, who has a fractured navicular bone in his right foot after fouling off a ball on Aug. 28, continues to do exercises out of the protective boot. While he has not yet begun baseball activities, the Sox remain confident he will be back on the field before the end of the regular season.
 
Ellsbury has not played since Sept. 5. In that span the Sox have gone 7-5, picking up 2 ½ games in the division.
 
“Much like when we missed [Shane Victorino] for a number of games of [Clay Buchholz] for a number of games, the depth continues to play out,” Farrell said.
 
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Will Middlebrooks, who missed Sunday’s game against the Yankees with flu-like symptoms, is not in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Orioles. Farrell said Middlebrooks is available, though, if needed.

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The Sox trail the season series, 6-7, but have outscored the Orioles, 53-46.