BOSTON The Red Sox rotation, which had been in some flux with Josh Becketts and Clay Buchholzs time on the disabled list, has been set for the four-game series in Seattle.
Left-hander Franklin Morales will start the first game, on Thursday, followed by Aaron Cook, Josh Beckett, who will be activated from the DL, and Felix Doubront. Beyond that, however, remains to be seen.
Manager Bobby Valentine said before Tuesdays game he would go with a six-man rotation at least through the All-Star break, which begins July 9. Daisuke Matsuzaka started Tuesday night against the Blue Jays, with Jon Lester pitching Wednesday afternoons homestand finale. Either of the two could start Monday, the first of three games in Oakland.
Rather than flying ahead of the team, as is sometimes the case for long flights, Morales, Thursdays starter, will fly with the team after Wednesdays game. With a day game, Valentine was hopeful that the Sox would arrive in Seattle at a decent hour.
Valentine was satisfied with the change Matsuzaka made to his warm-up routine before Tuesdays start:
Yeah I really think they found something there, Valentine said. The first at-bat, those were all quality pitches and we havent seen that. And the second at-bat were quality pitches. There wasnt this let me feel my way through the first inning look to the situation.
Carl Crawford is scheduled to continue his rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League team in Fort Myers on Wednesday. Crawford will play left field.
Never say never?
While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.
CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season.
For the full interview with Martinez, click here.
Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired.
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.
The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.
But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.
“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.
“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”
He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.
He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.
But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.
“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”