Notes: Bowden called up to Sox; rotation shuffled

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Notes: Bowden called up to Sox; rotation shuffled

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

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

Red Sox among ‘roughly half’ of MLB who’ll attend Tebow workout Tuesday

Red Sox among ‘roughly half’ of MLB who’ll attend Tebow workout Tuesday

Maybe Tim Tebow could be the eighth-inning guy? 

OK, OK. Maybe not. Still, the Red Sox will be among the “roughly half” of the MLB teams who will attend the former Heisman Trophy winner and Patriots’ 2013 training camp phenomenon’s baseball tryout on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Tebow is 29 and hasn’t played organized baseball since he was a junior in high school. He was an All-State performer in Florida back then.

Based on his accuracy and mechanics throwing a football, maybe DH would suit Tebow better than the mound. 

 

 

New season, new pitcher, new persona: The evolution of Rick Porcello

New season, new pitcher, new persona: The evolution of Rick Porcello

BOSTON -- Just over a year ago, Rick Porcello made his return from the 15-day disabled list, and the righty's not only been a new pitcher, but a new person at times.

“Pretty Ricky” is still the mild-mannered, well-spoken pitcher off the field, but between the white lines the 27-year-old's unexpectedly shown a gritty side of late.

Part of his alter ego is his sweat-crowned cap that's helped him find a way into Red Sox Nation’s heart by indirectly paying homage to Trot Nixon, one of Boston’s most hard-nosed players in recent history.

“I don’t know how that happens,” Porcello said bewildered by his unsightly, yet lucky hat. “It’s disgusting. Trust me, I don’t even want to put it on.

“I wear the same hat throughout the course of the season if things are going well, and if they’re not I change it out.”

His hat is one of the more glaring changes to the 2016 version of Rick Porcello -- given the contradiction with his nickname. But what’s also come to surface with his Cy Young-caliber pitching is his toughness.

And we’re not talking about his ability to get out of jams -- although that’s been the case too. We’re talking about his frustration every time he gets pulled in the middle of an inning, and, even more so, chirping at opposing players -- like he did Chase Headley, giving some life to the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry that’s been in a lull the last few seasons.

“I’m not really sure why I did it [to Headley] and in Detroit,” Porcello said his recent change in behavior. “I don’t like to be vocal like that. I like to just try to go out there and do my job. That’s really it. I’m not a guy that screams at guys on the mound.

“But I think there are times, when, if you feel strongly about something that’s going on, then you need to speak up instead of just letting it continue. That’s all that was.”

If you haven’t heard Rick Porcello in the postgame interview following his starts, those reactions on the mound aren't something anyone would expect from him. He’s always one to take his time articulating his points in detail -- far from some of the shoot-from-the-hip players Boston’s had in the past.

“I don’t think that’s really indicative of my personality or anything like that,” the righty said on his changing mound presence. “I mean, when I’m between the lines, I’m definitely not trying to make friends with the other team. I’m trying to beat ‘em. That’s really all I care about, is us winning games. If I feel like they’re doing something to alter that -- and it’s not right -- then I’ll say something. But I don’t fell like I’m running around like a hothead just screaming at everybody.

“It’s a little bit different when you’re between the lines and you’re competing. We’re in a race right now. You’re emotions are going to be running high. Certain things at certain levels that you get to on the field you don’t get to in any other aspect in your life. Whether it’s the adrenaline or just the emotion that comes through, those sorts of things. I think a lot of guys when they’re competing and they get into that moment, they turn into a bit of different person or a different animal. That’s all that is.”

The Cy Young candidate also mentioned the recent outbursts were more situation-based, rather than results of playing both Boston’s greatest rival or his old team.

While it’s made his already impressive starts even more entertaining, Porcello doesn’t want his competitiveness to mistaken for disrespect towards the game or his opponents. But he intends to get the message across that he’s not only passionate about winning, but will speak up if he deems it necessary.

“It’s a fine line between being composed and when something goes down then you say what you need to say or you’re just running around like a hothead,” Porcello said. “I definitely don’t want to be the latter. But I’m passionate about what we’re doing and I’m passionate about our team and winning. Anything can happen when you’re out there and those things are at stake.”

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter @ngfriar