BOSTON -- The Red Sox made a series of roster moves before Friday’s game against the Indians.
* Catcher David Ross was activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list.
* To make room for him on the 25-man roster, catcher Ryan Lavarnway was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after last night’s game.
* Right fielder Shane Victorino was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 21) with a left hamstring strain.
* To fill his spot on the roster, right-hander Alfredo Aceves was recalled from Pawtucket.
* Third baseman Will Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a low back strain.
* To fill his spot on the roster, infielder Jose Iglesias was recalled from Pawtucket.
Victorino left Monday’s game in the sixth inning with tightness in his left hamstring and has not played since. The Red Sox had hoped to avoid a DL stint for him.
“Obviously with Shane Victorino we’ve done everything we possibly could avoiding a stint on the disabled list, giving him multiple days down,” said manager John Farrell. “I think just got to the point we’re it’s in need of that extended time and treatment. Hopefully put this behind him once and for all. He got to the point each time he would start back up and have to be interrupted. There was some frustration on his part in dealing with it, and understandably so. This is a guy that really wants to be on the field every day. So I think it was best, peace of mind for him and really to address the physical issues that he’s got.”
Middlebrooks initially felt something in his back in his final at-bat in Chicago on Wednesday. He underwent an MRI Friday morning.
“With Will, his final at-bat over in Chicago the other the night he felt a stretching sensation of something awkward in the final swing that he took. The final swing that he took, he grounded a ball out to third base and he was running down the line. And then in the two at-bats last night it continued to tighten up on him. The MRI showed inflammation in the muscles that surround the spine on either side. So given where we are with the roster, position player-wise, we had to make a move, and really precautionary to Will. Low back issues as we talked about with Shane, as we talked about with Will, we don’t’ want to be taking anything too risky that could prolong it.
“Our medical staff felt the best-case scenario was this was going to be a minimum of probably 3-5 days, just to get ahead of it. And the fact that we’re a position player short, manpower and his current situation, those combinations of factors was like this needs to be a DL.”
Despite assorted bumps and bruises, Victorino has avoided the DL so far this season. He has appeared in 34 of the Sox 48 games this season, batting .283 with a .343 on-base percentage, 20 runs scored, and four stolen bases in six attempts. But he missed seven games from April 25 - May 2 with a lower back strain. He left the May 16 game at Tampa Bay in the top of the ninth and missed the next two games with a sore back after crashing into outfield walls a couple of times last week.
“[It stinks] more than anything,” Victorino said. “That’s how much I want to play.
“I’m frustrated but the overall understanding it’s for the better. The thing that was frustrating for us, coming off that seven days, running into the wall probably didn’t help, but coming back taking two days off, coming back for a game and a half and something else resurfacing, I think that’s the part that frustrated not only myself but I think the training staff. I don’t want to be that guy and play half a game and have something resurface and somebody else has to go in for me. That’s not the kind of player I am. That kind of stuff frustrates me.
“I understand the circumstances of what else is going on too, Middlebrooks last night getting hurt our numbers were started to become one of those things where your hands get tied.”
* Aceves, who began the season with the Sox before being demoted on April 24, last pitched May 17. In four starts for the PawSox, he has posted a record of 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA. In 23 innings, he has allowed 22 hits and 11 with 21 strikeouts. In five games, three starts, for the Red Sox he was 1-1 with an ERA of 8.66. Farrell said he will be used in long relief.
Aceves was called up, rather than an outfielder, because of Ryan Dempster’s abbreviated start Thursday night.
“He’s going to pitch multiple innings in that type role,” Farrell said. “Even with the shortened start last night, the guys who pitched the last three innings of that game are available today. [Aceves is] a multi-inning reliever.
“Given the short start last night, we needed a pitcher in the short term,” Farrell said. “We’re carrying an extra reliever obviously right now. At some point we’d like to get back to a balance of 12 pitchers and 13 position players.”
* Iglesias is in the starting lineup, playing third base, batting ninth. He played third base Tuesday for the first time in his life.