Holt, De La Rosa among cuts as Sox get down to 40

Holt, De La Rosa among cuts as Sox get down to 40
March 20, 2014, 6:30 pm
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Brock Holt was sent to Pawtucket, leaving Jonathan Herrera as the utility infielder on the roster.

(AP Photo)

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox got down to 40 players in camp Thursday with three cuts. The team optioned infielder Brock Holt and pitcher Rubby De La Rosa to Pawtucket and returned Brandon Snynder to minor league camp.

Holt's demotion confirms that Jonathan Herrera has, as expected, won the job as the team's utility infielder.

"We prioritized shortstop play,'' said John Farrell of the utility competition, "and while Brock has made strides on the left side of the infield, particularly from last year, we felt with the acquisition of Jonathan, there was more middle-of-the-field experience and that's the choice made.''

Farrell praised Herrera's "instincts...you get a two-to-three game glimpse of someone from across the field (as an opponent). And then when you're in camp with someone for a month a half, you get more of a sense of their instincts, how they respond to game situations and the energy he brings. He's a good fit.''

De La Rosa, meanwhile, will be used as a starter in Pawtucket, though it's still conceivable that he could be used out of the bullpen in the big leagues.

"The biggest difference [with de la Rosa],'' said Farrell, "is that there are no restrictions [like last year]. The month of April, it was no more than three innings or 50 pitches, so those restrictions are taken off him. The last two times out, there have been a couple of adjustments made, where we've taken him from a full [windup] to one where he keeps his hands in front of his chest.

"We've started to add a curveball to the mix, to give him a little bit more of an off-speed pitch. We feel like those two adjustments will help him not only command his fastball better, but command his off-speed to attack a given hitter. With Rubby, it's not a matter of stuff. It's more a matter of consistent location.''