By Maureen Mullen
BOSTON Tim Wakefield was set to take John Lackeys place in the rotation Tuesday night. Instead he'll be pushed back to face the Cubs Sunday in the homestand finale.
Clay Buchholz is scheduled to face the Tigers Wednesday night, followed by Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Alfredo Aceves, who is taking Daisuke Matsuzakas place in the rotation.
I think were pretty fortunate, manager Terry Francona said of being able to slide Wakefield and Aceves into the rotation, before joking. Wakes . . . been pitching since I was a kid." As for Aceves, he said: "Thats why we signed him. We think he can go out there and do a good job.
Wakefield hasn't pitched since throwing 1 13 innings in Toronto on May 11. Francona will try to get the knuckleballer some work in a game before Sundays start.
Well see how were doing and what he needs, Francona said. I told him well talk to him about it Wednesday.
Aceves, who has made two starts this season for the PawSox, will be making his first big-league start since July 9, 2009 with the Yankees.
Its hard to say, Aceves of what he can expect in his start. The body is going to tell you when you're tired. You can prepare yourself. Everybody works different. In the game your bodys going to tell you.
Aceves, who got the win in relief Monday, will try to get into a starters routine before Saturday.
Try to catch up on the same page as a starter, he said. Third day bullpen, next day short, couple of breaking pitches, flat ground, the next day just play catch.
Right-hander Michael Bowden will be activated Wednesday to take Matsuzakas spot on the roster. He found out about the move around midnight after Mondays game. The PawSox were preparing for a trip to Columbus.
Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler called me at midnight, and woke me up, Bowden said. I was already in bed because we had a 4:30 wakeup call to catch a 7:00 flight. So that was good news, got to not only sleep in but get the call up here.
How will he be used with the Sox?
Out of the bullpen, he said. Just be ready, thats all that I know.
Since moving from the rotation to the bullpen in the middle of last season Bowden has worked only in relief. In 14 appearances, spanning 15 13 innings, with the Sox last season, he posted a record of 0-1 with a 4.70. In 14 games with the PawSox this season, he is 1-0 with four saves and a 1.59 ERA in 14 games, spanning 22 23 innings.
No word yet on a possible makeup date for Tuesdays rainout. The Orioles return to Fenway twice more this season. In July, they are in Boston for a four-game series, July 7-10, just before the All-Star break. But that is also the conclusion of a three-city, 10-game road trip for the Os. They also return to Fenway for a three-game series Sept. 19-21.
Bobby Jenks, on the DL because of a right biceps strain since May 2, was eligible to be activated Tuesday. But he threw for the first time and will likely need a rehab assignment before he can be activated.
Jenks threw today from 60 feet. Good intensity, Francona said. Hell move back a little bit farther tomorrow and he did very well. That was good.
Dan Wheeler, who's been on the DL with a left calf strain since May 5, is eligible to be activated Friday and will likely be ready then.
I dont see any reason why he won't be ready, Francona said.
Francona was asked if Lackeys elbow problem correlates to his last two starts, when he allowed 17 combined runs over 10 23 innings on 19 hits and eight walks.
I dont know, Francona said. Theres a lot of gray area there. If you talk to a starting pitcher, if they make 35 starts, I bet you they tell you they feel good physically about six or seven. So actually, what I told the media yesterday was actually about as honest as I can be. We didnt feel a rush to do anything because we knew we could cover the spot today. If he was okay, we were going to let him pitch. We know hes been having a rough time but we also know hes a pretty good professional pitcher and we also know hes going to turn it around.
Now all of a sudden you start talking about someone being tender or sore or hurt, that makes it a little bit tougher. Then you got a guy who wants to pitch through it and we respect that, so we put our heads together and talked to the medical people and talked to Lack and took it out of his hands.
That would be terrific if this little shutdown really helps him and he feels
good and he starts throwing and we can get him right back when its time to come
up. I dont know if thats the case. I hope it is.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen