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.
Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis.
Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time.
The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.
Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball.
Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer. And…
US ambassador to Japan?
Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.
The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons.
When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team."
Would he be interested?
"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.
Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.
Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.