Valentine: Lester 'looked great,' team 'playing it by ear' with Crawford

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Valentine: Lester 'looked great,' team 'playing it by ear' with Crawford

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Despite manager Bobby Valentine's decision to lift outfielder Carl Crawford from a tie game out of fear for his left (throwing) elbow in the late innings, the manager said he's not likely to use Crawford in the DH spot while David Ortiz is on the disabled list. "I don't think that it's time,'' said Valentine. "We've got to get Carl playing and into the swing of things. I mean, it's not like there wasn't a thought of it. We thought it and negated it.'' Crawford was hitting seventh in the Red Sox batting order again for a second straight night, with Pedro Ciriaco serving as the DH in the second spot against Texas lefty starter Derek Holland. "I think Pedro offers a little something offensively that I like in there,'' said Valentine of Ciriaco's role as temporary DH. "With Carl DHing, that means Pedro wouldn't.'' As for how to handle Crawford in the outfield, Valentine acknowledged that the Sox were ''playing it by ear. This is all a learning experience. We'll just learn as we go. But I'm just trying to do the smart thing and not put anybody in a position to fail, but putting people in a position to succeed. This isn't a test.''

-- Jon Lester, set to start the middle game of the upcoming series at Yankee Stadium, had what Valentine termed "a long throwing session,'' Wednesday at The Ballpark. "He said he felt great and to me, he looked great,'' said Valentine. Lester had the worst start of his major league career Sunday, allowing 11 runs in just four innings. He's allowed 21 runs in his last 12 13 innings, covering three starts. "He just wanted to get a feel for what the hitters were seeing (off him),'' said Valentine. "I talked to the hitters and they said they saw great stuff. It wasn't like they saw anything that made them thinkthat (Lester) should change anything.''
-- Daisuke Matsuzaka (trapezeus muscle) also threw a bullpen session and according to Valentine, "threw the best that he's thrown in a long time.''

Merloni: 'One good start' could change things for David Price in playoffs

Merloni: 'One good start' could change things for David Price in playoffs

Gary Tanguay and Lou Merloni talk all Boston Red Sox postseason and cover David Price's bad postseason pitching, Drew Pomeranz heading to the bullpen, and if the Sox should feel pressure to clinch AL East sooner than later.

Pomeranz 'pretty comfortable' with potential move to bullpen

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Pomeranz 'pretty comfortable' with potential move to bullpen

NEW YORK -- If Drew Pomeranz is going to be part of the Red Sox' postseason plans, the team will likely have a better idea about that question by Thursday afternoon.

Pomeranz, who was scratched from his final scheduled start on Thursday because of soreness in his left forearm and general concern about his 2016 workload, will throw a 30-35 pitch bullpen.

If he responds well, he could then see some relief action over the final weekend at Fenway to determine his readiness for the playoffs.

"Before we even begin to map out a potential relief appearance over the weekend,'' said John Farrell, "we've got to get through that next step.''

Pomeranz pitched well in his last start at Tropicana Field over the weekend, but has been dealing with some discomfort in his forearm.

"I've had some soreness here, late in the year,'' Pomeranz said. "I've thrown more innings than I have ever (before), so we kind of sat down and talked about the best course of action the rest of the way.''

Pomeranz described what he felt as "just some soreness, probably from never covering this time of the year. It's a spot I've never been in before. We just decided the best thing to do was not making this last start and talk about maybe sliding into the bullpen.''

The lefty is no stranger to the bullpen, having pitched there as recently as last season while with Oakland.

"I've had the benefit of doing pretty much everything (in terms of roles),'' he said. "I'm pretty comfortable in any situation. If they see me helping there, obviously, that's where I want to be. But I don't know if it's a sure thing. We'll have to see how it goes.''

Meanwhile, another sidelined starter, Steven Wright, is expected to rejoin the team in Boston Friday. Wright threw a bullpen off the mound earlier this week in Fort Myers as he attempts to come back from inflammation in his shoulder.