OAKLAND -- With a spot available in their rotation for the final game of the first half, the Red Sox Friday elected to give the start to rookie Brandon Workman.
Workman made his major league debut Wednesday in Seattle, allowing three runs on four hits in his first inning of work before settling down and retiring the side in order in the ninth.
Drake Britton, recently promoted from Double A Portland to Triple A Pawtucket, was the other candidate in the running.
"The other night, Brandon's two innings of work were on his fifth day,'' explained John Farrell. "Forty-seven pitches puts him in line to be fresh and ready to go for Sunday. We happen to fall on the schedule where he does get work on his normal day and we're not disrupting his routine all that much to make him available for the start.''
"I'm definitely excited,'' said Workman of the prospect of his major league start. "(The routine of starting) is definitely something I've done a lot more throughout my career, obviously, so, yeah, it's a little more familiar.''
Workman is happy that he got his debut - and the ensuing butterflies -- already out of the way.
"I got out there and threw the other day,'' said Workman, "got my first time under my belt. So I feel like some of the nerves will be gone.''
Workman will get a chance to watch the Oakland lineup for the first two games of the series before he has to pitch against them.
"It will be my first time (preparing for a major league start),'' he said. "We'll see how it goes.''
* Farrell said the team hadn't yet lined up its second-half rotation.
He was asked if the team might consider giving knuckleballer Steven Wright a start. Wright tossed 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief following Ryan Dempster Thursday in Seattle and got the win.
"Certainly not going to eliminate (that possibility) right now,'' said Farrell. "We're still in that period of adjustment, seemingly. We've been that way in the last month, with as much fluctuation to the staff we've had.''
The Sox are unsure whether the knuckleballer is a better weapon out of the bullpen or in the rotation.
"You can make the (argument) for either side,'' he said. "I always felt when (Tim Wakefield) was here, you had that turn in the rotation as almost like a free game, where you didn't expose a game plan against an opponent. The guy after him gets a benefit because (the knuckler) is a little bit of an odd or unique pitch that opponents are trying to hit, with the contrast of style.
"As long as he's throwing strikes, there's a value in either role.''
* Earlier in the week, Farrell noted in a radio interview that, in an "ideal'' situation, Andrew Bailey would eventually reclaim the closer's spot with Koji Uehara returning to the set-up role.
Bailey has had three strong appearances on the current trip. Farrell was asked if another one or two similar outings this weekend could lead him to revert Bailey to the closer's job when the second half begins.
"I don't know that we're ready to make that immediate move,'' he said. "(The reason I talked about Uehara being perfect for the set-up role) is because Koji's been so effective against lefthanders and in situations where teams might look to pinch-hit, you don't worry about it as much.
"But if Andrew continues to string outings together like he has and Koji continues to have clean ninth innings, we don't want to necessarily change for the sake of change, either.''