KANSAS CITY -- Despite using eight pitchers -- nine, if you count outfielder Darnell McDonald -- in Sunday's marathon loss to the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox didn't bring any pitching reinforcements up from Pawtucket for the first game of their three game series with the Royals.
"It would have meant taking someone who doesn't deserve to go down off the roster," said manager Bobby Valentine. "And, considering no one pitched consecutive days other than (Scott Atchison) . . . we'll see what we have. We might have enough. Hope so."
Valentine said he would check with pitching coach Bob McClure about the availability of other relievers: "I'll have to check. You can't just go on the numbers. You have to go on how a guy feels. Sometimes a guy throws 15 pitches and he's stressed; sometimes a guy throws 28 and he's feeling good the next day."
Not only is the bullpen taxed, but Monday's starter, Felix Doubront has yet to pitch past the sixth inning in his first five starts this season, thanks mostly to escalating pitch counts.
In his last start, Doubront threw 94 pitches in just four innings.
"It's a concern," acknowledged Valentine. "But he's had a little longer rest and there might be an opportunity to throw him a couple of more pitches."
Doubront is pitching with an extra day thanks to the off-day in the schedule last Thursday.
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.