Notes: Red Sox plan to throw Bedard Tuesday

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Notes: Red Sox plan to throw Bedard Tuesday

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON Red Sox manager Terry Francona has announced his rotation for the four-game series against the Orioles, starting Monday with a doubleheader. Right-handers Kyle Weiland will pitch the first game, followed by John Lackey on Monday. Lefty Erik Bedard will start Tuesday, and Josh Beckett gets the series finale on Wednesday.

Weiland started Thursday against the Rays, but went just three innings, throwing 61 pitches. Bedard, who is 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA in six starts with the Sox, hasnt pitched since Sept. 3, when he earned the win over the Rangers. He has been sidelined by back and knee ailments.

Asked if it would be a normal start for Bedard, Francona replied:

Normal as in getting people out, I hope. I dont know about staying out there for 100 pitches. I dont know. Well have to see. That may be a little bit of a reach.

The one thing we need to do, and we told Erik this, we need to respect our guys health and things like that, and we will.

Lackey and Beckett will be on normal rest. With Thursday a day off, Francona is uncertain if the starters will stay in a normal rotation after that.

I really dont know, he said. A little bit more to see if another day after throwing that side will be to his benefit, which he thought it was, so thats kind of why we were waiting.

Before Sunday's game Francona was asked about Adrian Gonzalezs shoulder, on which the first baseman had surgery last fall. During the broadcast of Saturdays game it was reported that Gonzalez has felt some fatigue in the shoulder.

Thats a little hard for me because Gonzies been taking BP every other day . . . for about a month-and-a-half, Francona said. So when Fox comes in and announces that, they couldve announced it in July. And then I have to answer that. Thats not entirely a big surprise. Hes backed off for a long time.

Maybe the shoulder is sore. I dont know. I dont feel the need to announce every bump or bruise or inadequacy we have. Thats not going to help us win at all."

Gonzalez would not answer questions about his shoulder after Saturdays loss, but acknowledged hes been swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone.

Sometimes when you get down early you have to fight that, Francona said. Thats why when you get down early its so nice when you come back right away. The other day with James Shields we scored the two right away. Because its so easy, especially with good pitching, to get greedy. Its not a lack of concentration, youre just trying so hard to do more and you play right into their hand. You see it happen all the time.

Clay Buchholz is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Tuesday. Pitching coach Curt Young said Buchholz will throw 15 pitches in the first inning, rest for about 10 minutes, and throw another 15 pitches in the second. If all goes well, Buchholz will throw again on Thursday.

Wakefield, who is 1-4 in his last nine starts with a 4.97 ERA, reached the 3,000-inning plateau as a member of the Red Sox with a scoreless third on Sunday. Of the original 16 teams, only Cincinnati has not had a pitcher reach that milestone.

Darnell McDonald had a two-run double off David Price in the fourth inning, and is now batting .350 (7-for-20) off him in his career, the third-best career mark for any hitter against Price (with a minimum of 20 at-bats), behind Nick Swisher at .429 and Jose Bautista at .360.

Mike Aviles went 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and three RBI. In his last six games he is hitting .529 (9-for-17) with five RBI and 4 runs scored. In his last 15 games with a plate appearance he is batting.419 (18-for-43).

Carl Crawfords eighth-inning double was his second career pinch-hit. The other was an RBI single on June 20, 2007, while with the Rays in Arizona.

Jarrod Saltalamacchias career-high four passed balls were the most in a game by Sox catcher since Josh Bards four on April 26, 2006. It was the fifth time the sox have allowed four or more passed balls in a game since Wakefield joined the team in 1995. The knuckleballer pitched in all five of those games.

Rays lefty David Price left the game after four innings after getting hit in the upper right chest by Aviles line drive that went for a 1-5-3 out in the third inning. Price underwent several tests at Mass. General and all came back negative. He was expected to join the Rays as they travel to New York by train for their series against the Yankees.

Former Sox Johnny Damon played in his 140th game of the season, the 16th consecutive season in which he has played at least 140 games. That streak matches those of Hank Aaron from 1955-70, Brooks Robinson (1960-75), and Pete Rose (1965-80) as the longest in major league history.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Dombrowski defends John Farrell after group strategy meeting on Monday

Dombrowski defends John Farrell after group strategy meeting on Monday

 

The Red Sox braintrust had a meeting on Monday's off-day to strategize with a 22-21 team that's underperforming and in third place.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told NESN's Tom Caron on the Sox pre-game show that he was part of a meeting with Farrell, assistant general managers Eddie Romero and Brian O'Halloran and vice president of baseball research and development Zack Scott.

"We sat down yesterday for over a couple hours," Dombrowski told Caron. "I [had] already talked to some of our scouts and just kind of [went] over our club to try to get it to fit together a little bit. Because some of those things, the injuries, and even the guys that are playing, like in Hanley [Ramirez's] case, it does affect what you’re trying to do. So normally at this time of year, I think you have a better pulse [of the team]. But I think we need a little bit more time. We just really haven’t flowed as a club. We haven’t played as well as I think we’re capable of and I think we need to give ourselves that opportunity."

Asked about Farrell's job security, Dombrowski defended a manager whose 2018 option was picked up over the winter.

"Well, we won a divisional crown last year," Dombrowski said. "He managed very well for us at the time. I think that John, as well as everybody else, is frustrated by our performance and that we haven’t taken off, but we’re not buried either. I mean, we’re four games out of first place and we really haven’t been in a flow. And when you look at it, it’s like, OK, last week Thursday we won two great games in St. Louis. I wasn’t with the team, I was in Salem. 

"Well I looked at the match-up on Thursday, and I’m thinking, well if [Sonny] Gray throws like he’s capable, I’m not sure what we’re going to get out of [Hector] Velazquez at that particular time. And of course, Velazquez didn’t have a very good outing. So you lose that ball game. Is that John’s fault? I can’t put that on John. 

"Friday night, you have Chris Sale, he threw the ball very well. Well the play that Trevor Plouffe made on Hanley Ramirez, I don’t know if he’s made a play like that all year long. Mookie Betts, in the ninth inning gets a line drive right at the third baseman. Well you have a chance to score five or six runs, didn’t happen. No excuses, but it’s one of those where I think to pin those things on John Farrell are just not fair. I think we’re in a position where he’s managed well, he’s managed divisional champions. I think we’re in a position, we have a good club. We just need to get in a better flow of things."

Dombrowski felt the Sox were harder to evaluate a quarter into the season than most teams would be.

"Because the reality is when you look at our ballclub, it really hasn’t been together at all at any point during the year for me," he said. "So I think when you look at it, you say OK, well, we need to improve our fourth and fifth starters. Well, David Price comes back next week — we think he’ll be back next week. So that’s a pretty big addition, that’s like making a major trade. 

"I still think Drew Pomeranz, although he has scuffled at times, should be a fourth-, fifth-type starter on a good club. … We need to straighten him out. I think he’s capable of doing that. When you talk about bullpen, our bullpen’s been good but I still think we’re going to get Carson Smith in a short time period, so that’s another addition that we have.

"Third base, you know has been a hole for us where Pablo Sandoval could be back very soon. I’m not sure where Brock Holt fits into that whole equation. So we’re really on our fifth third baseman right now when you look at it. Pablo is there, and then Brock Holt was there. Marco Hernandez is going to have surgery, we’re going to miss him for the rest of the year. Josh Rutledge has been over there."

Holt, out with vertigo, and the Red Sox are regrouping. Holt's exhausted the 20 days permitted for a minor league rehab stint, and is heading to Pittsburgh to meet concussion expert Micky Collins. Another rehab stint figures to follow eventually, barring a change in diagnosis.

Hernandez is to have surgery on his left shoulder Friday, which likely ends his season.

Hanley Ramirez can still be the DH, but his sore shoulders have relegated him to only that position, not first base. That's part of the reason Sam Travis was added to the roster Tuesday.

"There’s a couple reasons behind it," Dombrowski said of Travis' call-up.  "We’re in a position where we have a roster spot for a positional player. Secondly, we’ve talked about giving Mitch [Moreland] a little bit of a blow on his feet at times, to not play too many games. And we faced a left hand pitcher tomorrow [in the Rangers' Martin Perez]. He’s been hitting the ball well, Sam has. 

"We’re trying to sit [Moreland] a little bit vs. the left-handed pitching. Even though he’s done OK, we just don’t want him to get too tired as the year goes on. And the reality is, originally that was going to be Hanley [playing first base vs. lefties]. Well, Hanley’s not available to do that now, so we needed to make an adjustment ourself on how to do that. And with the extra roster spot, Pawtucket right down the road, we figure it’s a good chance to give him that opportunity. 

"In Hanley’s case, not playing first base, people don’t realize at times how much that changes the mix of your club. Because at some time, we are going to have Chris Young get at-bats and DH at that point."

Napoli: Red Sox and his agent only had 'small talk' about reunion

Napoli: Red Sox and his agent only had 'small talk' about reunion

BOSTON -- Of course, the Rangers' Mike Napoli didn't mind the idea of replacing David Ortiz. He loved playing in Boston.

There just was never much chatter that way last offseason, when Napoli was a free agent after his Indians took the Cubs to seven games in the World Series.

"I think my agent had maybe a small talk or something [with the Red Sox], but I don't think it ever would have happened," Napoli said Tuesday afternoon as he returned to Fenway Park with Texas. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I would have loved to come back. But, I mean, it all worked out. I'm glad to be where I'm at now. Because I knew everybody here [with the Rangers]. I didn't have to start over again."

Napoli played with the Rangers in 2011 and '12, and was traded by the Sox to Texas for the last few months of the 2015 season.

He was hopeful the Sox -- his team from 2013 to midseason 2015 -- would be among the clubs to come calling last winter.

"Oh, yeah," he said.

But he wasn't optimistic it was going to happen. And it didn't.

"To be honest with you . . . Cleveland was my first priority," he said. "I just had a World Series run [with the Indians] and we didn't win it. And then Texas was there [in the bidding, along with] Minnesota."

The Rangers wound up giving Napoli, 35, a one-year deal for 8.5 million with an $11 million club option for next season or a $2.5 million buyout. He's hitting just .188 entering Tuesday, a subpar figure, but has 10 home runs.

"We started off pretty slow, but winning 10 straight will help," Napoli said of the Rangers' recent tear. "[Winning] 11 of 12, we've been playing better. I think we kind of lost track of who we are. We got some guys struggling, still trying to find themselves and kind of got away from doing it together as a team, but we got back to doing that. It's been going pretty well."

Part of the World Series championship team of four years ago, Napoli loved being in Boston in 2013, and he enjoys being back now.

"What we were able to do in 2013, obviously, it's something I'l never forget and something I cherish," Napoli said. "I love coming back here to play."

When it was noted there's been so much turmoil since Napoli left -- the talk of Tuesday was manager John Farrell's job security -- he was unsurprised.

"You got to have thick skin to play here," Napoli said. "You're expected to win a championship every single year. But that's what I loved about playing here, is that people were on you. For me, I loved it. A lot of people probably couldn't do it.

"I knew it in my heart that I went out there and I played as hard as I possibly could every single time . . . I know you're not going to be perfect and live up to everyone."