TORONTO -- A day after being struck by a pitch on the right forearm/elbow, Jose Iglesias was out of the Red Sox lineup Saturday. But that was going to be the case anyway, according to manager John Farrell.
"He came in and checked out OK this morning,'' said Farrell. "He went out and and threw and felt OK, but we had today as a scheduled down day for him. He's available today if the need does arise, (but it's) encouraging today that he pleaded his case to try to get in today's lineup.''
"I think I'm going to play tomorrow,'' said Iglesias. "But if the team needs me (Saturday), I'll be there. You want to be in there, be part of another win, but all I can do is get treatment and get ready for today and tomorrow.''
Iglesias took a pitch near the elbow in the second inning of Friday's 6-4 win and was lifted two innings later when the arm tightened up on him. He was replaced by Pedro Ciriaco, who was the Red Sox' shortstop Saturday, too.
The scheduled day off was "a chance to get Pedro on the field, start to built in a little bit of a rotation with guys coming off the bench,'' according to Farrell.
Ciriaco stepped in and immediately contributed Friday night, delivering a run-scoring single in his first at-bat and later adding a double.
"Given that he's watched the first three-plus games,'' said Farrell, "(it was impressive) that he come through in a couple key spots. He comes in and gets an RBI base hit right off the bench. He's a very good player -- very athletic, very talented. He's proven that throughout the course of last year, whether it was at Pawtucket or (in Boston). He's a reliable guy.''
- Closer Joel Hanrahan has made three appearances in the first four games. Farrell said the Sox are trying to determine how much work the reliever needs to maintain his sharpness.
"Through our conversations after the trade (from Pittsburgh) and throughout spring training,'' said Farrell, "he's a guy who, if he goes three days (without pitching), he likes to get in a game. So it's just worked out that we've had an off-day and every other day use is where he's felt strong and sharp. But that's something we'll have to monitor. You've got a bigger bodied guy you've got to keep in rhythm as best you can.''
In general, Farrell has set up a few rules for usage.
"All things being equal,'' he said, "you'd like to stay away from (using someone for) three consecutive days. A lot's going to play into how stressful the two days prior are. If a reliever has had a 25-pitch plus inning the day before, he's probably going to need a down day as a recovery day.
"That's a general rule -- there's going to be exceptions to it and how things unfold. You might have every intention to stay away from a guy, but (depending on) how today works out, you might be pressed into using him. You try to communicate that as best you can at the start of the day.''
Farrell said the toughest case might involve Koji Uehara, 38, who has been both extremely effecitve (six batters faced, all six retired in two outings) and efficient (needing just 14 pitches for those six outs).
"The urge is going to be to call his name all the time,'' he said. "He loves to compete. You see the energy he comes off the field after completing an inning. But we're fortunate that we have the depth and the quality that we do. We'll have the ability to spread some things out and with Koji, we'll have to factor in all those things we just described.
"He did pitch on back-to-back days a few times last year, but we have to consider that, not taking anything away from him, he's had a long career and a very successful one and we've got to manage the physical side of that.''
Oddly, over the course of his career, Uehara has been more effective without a day's rest than he has been with one.
In 28 appearances without a day off, Uehara has an OPS against of .219; meanwhile, when he's had a day of rest --45 outings-- his OPS against has been .451.
- Farrell was impressed with Felix Doubront's debut Friday night, particularly the fact that the lefty "set the tone early on. I thought he had better command from the start of the game, versus the starts he made in spring training, where it took him a couple of innings to get into the flow of the game.
"Still, there were a number of opportunities where he got ahead in the count early and then didn't try to pitch to strikeouts, but continued to attack the zone when he had a hitter on the defensive and pitched to outs to continue to create that efficiency and work deeper into games.''