BOSTON – After catching all 18 innings of the doubleheader – with a nearly three-hour rain delay thrown in – Jarrod Saltalamacchia was back in the Red Sox starting lineup for the series finale Wednesday against the Rays.
“He felt good coming out of yesterday,” manager John Farrell said. “Felt like, with today’s matchup, and then with [Jose] Alvarez, a left-hander, going tomorrow, it’s likely [Ryan] Lavarnway [who was called up Tuesday] will be back there handling lackey over in Detroit, first game.”
Farrell is pleased with the progress he has seen from Saltalamacchia.
“I think even from the beginning of this year, there’s been I think more familiarity with the guys on the mound, what their capabilities are, and his ability to read swings has, I think, shown up in the pitch selection that he’s used,” Farrell said. “He’s had obviously a couple of good games where his throwing and his transfers have been quick and efficient. He’s always had arm strength. But I think his overall game has taken a step forward.”
Mike Carp, who left the game Sunday in Baltimore with right hamstring tightness, is still not available for defensive purposes, but could be used as a pinch-hitter.
“He’s getting better,” Farrell said. “We’re still dealing with the first step movements that aren’t back to 100 percent. His only place on the field today would have been in the outfield and want to be sure we’ve got our best outfield defense, given everything that we know today.
Right fielder Shane Victorino is not in the starting lineup.
“He came out of last night a little beat up physically. And needs today down,” Farrell said.”
Catcher David Ross, who was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list on Tuesday after taking another foul ball off his mask Friday night in Baltimore, will travel to Pittsburgh on Thursday to meet with concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins. The Red Sox consulted with Collins the first time Ross went on the concussion DL, but this will be the first time the catcher will be examined by him.
Jose Iglesias was in the starting lineup playing third base Wednesday and is expected to be there again tomorrow for the start of a four-game series in Detroit. It was just a matter of keeping the three-player/three-position rotation working, with Iglesias, Will Middlebrooks, and Stephen Drew, Farrell said.
But Farrell said he likes what he has seen so far from Iglesias at third, including a nifty diving stop of a sharp line drive on Tuesday.
“I think when you talk about really good players, and in this case a really good infielder, I don’t’ know that position really matters all that much,” Farrell said. “They’ve got an internal clock, they’ve got good feet, good hands. And that’s a reaction play to his glove side that he makes look pretty darn easy. So even the day in Baltimore making his first start at second base, there’s no question of any kind. Ti’s just inscitnutlly he'll go out and play the game. I think you see that time and time again with good players.t here’s not a whole lot of lead up to repetition at a given position. They have that instinct they're all pretty darn good.”
Farrell still has not finalized his decision on who will start Saturday in place of Clay Buchholz, who was placed on the 15-day DL yesterday.
“Not yet,” he said. “[Rubby] De la Rosa and [Allen] Webster are the two primary candidates, recognizing that there’s got to be some other roster move for De Da Rosa to be eligible. But those are the two guys we’re focused on right now.”
His decision will be made based primarily on which of the two is pitching more consistently, rather than who he thinks might better match up against Detroit’s offense.