Source: Miller to be promoted; will pitch Monday


Source: Miller to be promoted; will pitch Monday

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- While no announcement was made Wednesday, the Red Sox intend to promote left-hander Andrew Miller to their big-league roster this weekend and have him make his Boston debut Monday against the San Diego Padres, a source with knowledge of the situation said.

Prior to Wednesday's game, Red Sox manager Terry Francona spoke of Miller in mostly general terms.

"I think where we're at is, he's obviously a big part of our organization," said Francona. "And he's going to stay that way. He's not going anywhere (indicating that Miller will not be utilizing his opt-out clause, which kicked in Wednesday). Whatever happens going forward, if and when, we'll make that announcement as things unfold. It will make sense, but we can't get ahead of ourselves."

Miller is 3-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 13 appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket, and has shown greatly improved control in his last four starts. He's walked only three batters in his last 25 13 innings, covering his last four starts.

The Red Sox had their hand forced because they were aware that a number of teams were prepared Miller a spot in their rotation immediately.

It's believed that Miller's presence in the rotation will eventually force Tim Wakefield's return to the bullpen. But for now, the plan is for Wakefield to make his next scheduled start, Sunday against Milwaukee.

There's a limit, however, to how long the Red Sox can maintain a six-man rotation, particularly with two upcoming scheduled off-days -- June 23 and June 27. Providing six starters with enough work would be difficult in any case, but the two off-days in the span of four would make that problematic.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win


Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.