Red Sox Notes: Diaz to make MLB debut

Red Sox Notes: Diaz to make MLB debut
June 29, 2013, 3:00 pm
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BOSTON – Some pregame roster moves, before the Red Sox host the Blue Jays Saturday afternoon for the third game of their four-game series at Fenway Park.
·  Stephen Drew, who left Friday’s game with tightness in his right hamstring, is not available today.  The Sox are confident, though, for now, that Drew will not require a stint on the disabled list.
Convinced enough that he’s not right now, and as we’ve taken the approach with Shane in the past and really any guy that’s day to day. We don’t feel like this will get to the midway point of the potential 15 days, is ay that today but that’s the initial read on his hamstring situation. He felt slightly improved this morning. There was less swelling in the right hamstring. We did get him on a treadmill to at least walk. So he’s responding favorably to treatment and some range of motion exercises already initiated.
·  Jonathan Diaz was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. He is in the lineup, playing third base, batting ninth. This will be Diaz’s major league debut.  A 12th-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2006 out of North Carolina State, Diaz has played shortstop, second, third base, and left field in the minors. This season with Pawtucket, he has appeared in 29 games at second, 13 at short, 12 at third, has served as the designated hitter for two, and even had a pitching appearance. He is batting .242 with two home runs, 21 RBI, 30 runs scored, a .350 on-base percentage, and .341 slugging percentage in 55 games.
Manager John Farrell and his staff are familiar with Diaz from their mutual time in the Blue Jays organization. He joined the Sox as a minor league free agent in December.
“We know a little bit about him as a player and a person,” Farrell said. “He’s a smart player. He knows what the expectations are of us and that's not to say that Brandon [Snyder] doesn’t. That’s just to say that he’s familiar with us because of the time spent in spring trainings with us, and confident that he'll do a good job with us.”
Snyder was called up earlier this week, and went in to pinch run for Drew Friday night. He has played parts of the past four seasons in the big leagues, primarily at first base. In nine minor league seasons, he has played first, third, catcher, left field, and right field.
“[Diaz has a] little bit more range, little bit more of a full career on the infield,” Farrell said. “And he’s a guy that’s well aware of our system. He’s had experience with [infield coach Brian Butterfield], myself, and [bench coach] Torey [Lovullo] in Toronto last year as well as this spring training with us. In fact, this is a guy that’s worked probably seven to eight years to get to the big leagues and this will be a special day for him.”
Snyder’s utility role will be unchanged, Farrell said.
“The same as it was before Stephen Drew went down,” Farrell said. “He’s a corner utility guy. He can play left field, first, third, catch in an emergency. That’s not to say that Jonathan Diaz is coming here to play third base every day. But in the interim today is where we are.”
· To make on the 4-man roster for Diaz, right-hander Clayton Mortensen was designated for assignment. Farrell said the decision was performance-based. In 24 appearances, spanning 30 1/3 innings, Mortensen had posted a record of 1-3 with a 5.34 ERA, and a 1.582 WHIP.
“With Clayton, trying to create a spot for a 40-man roster guy, this came down to performance,” Farrell said. “And that’s probably the – because Jonathan Diaz was really the only infielder available to us. Brock holt’s on the dl, and won’t be in a game until Monday with Pawtucket, Stephen Drew is not a DL situation, so that kept us from bringing Will Middlebrooks back or even being considered, the other part of this is Diaz can also play shortstop, so there were a number of contributing factors to both Clayton and Jonathan coming here. So that’s where we are today.
“Performance-based and the fact that we needed a roster spot. We couldn’t option someone to get Diaz here, and unfortunately Clayton’s spot is the one that’s been opened up.”
Mortensen was activated from the DL on June 26 after missing 14 games with a right groin strain.
For his part, Mortensen said he was disappointed but understand the move. He said he will wait to see what is next for him. In the meantime, he was looking forward to spending some time with his family.
·  Will Middlebrooks could have been called up only if Drew had gone on the DL. He was optioned back to Pawtucket on June 25 and must spend at least 10 days there before he can brought up again.
· The Sox bullpen could potentially be short-handed today. Mortensen is gone, and Farrell said he would try to avoid using closer Koji Uehara who recorded saves in the last three games.
“Multiple innings can come from [Craig] Breslow and [Alex] Wilson,” Farrell said. “[Junichi] Tazawa’s available again today.  [Andrew] Bailey’s’ avail again today. Likely stay away from Uehara. But we feel like we’ll be able to get thru today, and if we have to, we’ll respond day to day, based on pitching needs.”
·  For now, right-hander Allen Webster remains in the rotation.
·  Right-hander Clay Buchholz, on the DL retroactive to June 9 with what was diagnosed earlier this week as inflammation of the bursa sac, was expected to attempt to throw today. An update on his status was not yet available. If he does not throw today, he would be expected to throw tomorrow.