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

Rodriguez to start Tuesday, Buchholz to bullpen

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Rodriguez to start Tuesday, Buchholz to bullpen

As expected, Eduardo Rodriguez will start for the Red Sox on Tuesday in Baltimore and Clay Buchholz will go to the bullpen, manager John Farrell told reporters in Toronto.

The move became apparent after Buchholz (2-5, 6.35 ERA) struggled again Thursday night, allowing three two-run home runs in an 8-2 loss to the Rockies.

Rodriguez, who hurt his knee in spring training, has yet to pitch for the Red Sox this season. The left-hander, who was 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA as a rookie last season,  made three rehab starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. 

"The bottom line is the results, and there's been a strong precedent set with that," Farrell said of Buchholz in annoucning the move. 

Friday’s lineups: Red Sox vs. Blue Jays - Ortiz and Bautista out

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Friday’s lineups: Red Sox vs. Blue Jays - Ortiz and Bautista out

David Ortiz is out of the starting lineup and Jose Bautista sits for the Blue Jays as the Red Sox open a three-game series tonight in Toronto.

It’s a night off for Ortiz, while Bautista is serving his one-game suspension for his fight with the Texas Rangers' Roughned Odor earlier this month.

Hanley Ramirez moves to DH for the Red Sox, with Travis Shaw playing first base and Marco Hernandez filling in at third against Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez (4-1, 3.20 ERA). Joe Kelly (2-0, 5.28) makes his second start since coming off the disabled list for the Red Sox. He pitched 6 2/3 no-hit innings Saturday in his return, a 9-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Travis Shaw 1B
Hanley Ramirez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Marco Hernandez 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Blake Swihart LF

Joe Kelly RHP

BLUE JAYS
Ezequiel Carrera RF
Josh Donaldson 2B
Edwin Encaracion DH 
Michael Saunders LF
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Justin Smoak 1B
Russell Martin C
Devon Travis 2B
Kevin Pillar CF

Aaron Sanchez RHP 

McAdam: Sure, take Buchholz out of the rotation, then what?

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McAdam: Sure, take Buchholz out of the rotation, then what?

It's easy -- obvious, even -- that Clay Buchholz should be immediately replaced in the Red Sox rotation.
     
What's more, it's apparent who should replace him. Eduardo Rodriguez, though his velocity remains mysteriously subpar, is otherwise healthy and available.
     
Even with the acknowledgement that Rodriguez's fastball isn't as lively as the Red Sox would prefer it to be, he remains a logical option.
     
And there can be little debate over the move to extract Buchholz from the rotation. In 10 starts, he's compiled a 6.35 ERA, and while pitcher’s won-loss records are notoriously misleading, this stat isn't: the Red Sox are 3-7 with Buchholz starting and 26-11 with everyone else.
     
Buchholz's confidence is shattered. You can see it in his body language on the mound. You can sense it with the glacial-like pace in which he works
with runners on base. You can observe it in his postgame remarks, where he looks and sounds like someone with no idea how to reverse his slide.
     
Case closed.
     
But the next part of the equation is a little trickier: what do the Red Sox do with him now?
     
It's highly unlikely that the Sox will just release him. For one thing, there's more than $8 million coming to him for the remainder of the season and those decisions aren't made lightly.
     
For another, it's possible -- hard as it might be to imagine now -- that Buchholz could help the 2016 Red Sox before the season is through. And if you think that's a ridiculous notion, then you've forgotten other similar stretches in his career.
     
In 2014, when Buchholz had what was, until then, the worst season of his career, he still managed to put together a seven-start stretch at the end of the season that saw him go 4-3 with a 3.18 ERA.
     
Or the 13-game stretch inside the otherwise hideous 2012 (season ERA: 4.56) in which Buchholz was 6-2 with a 2.53 ERA.
     
Those two stretches are at the heart of the paradox that is Buchholz - even in the course of miserable seasons, he invariably finds a stretch where he figures some things out and pitches brilliantly for a time.
     
It's one reason the Red Sox have stuck with him for the first two months -- the knowledge that, at any time, something may click, sending Buchholz on one of his patented rolls.
     
After all, Buchholz is just 31, too young to be finished. And as both the pitcher himself and manager John Farrell said Thursday night, in the wake of another poor outing, health isn't an issue.
     
And that's the rub here.
     
If Buchholz hadn't been given a public clean bill of health, the Red Sox could have discovered a heretofore undetected "general soreness'' somewhere on Buchholz's body -- a balky shoulder here, or a tender elbow there.
     
That would have bought Buchholz and the Red Sox some time to place him on the DL, take a mental break from the mound and work on making some adjustment away from prying eyes.
     
Now, that would seem not to be an option -- unless Buchholz, ahem, stubbed a toe getting on or off the Red Sox charter flight to Toronto early Friday morning.
     
Finally, Buchholz is long out of options and has sufficient service time to refuse an assignment to the minor leagues.
     
So what's left? Not much, beyond a trip to the bullpen. And that's where things get complicated.
     
In a 10-year major league career, Buchholz has made exactly two (2) appearances in relief, the most recent of which took place in 2008.
Given that Buchholz has struggled mightily early in games -- until Thursday's start, when he completely flipped the script and retired the first nine hitters he faced, Buchholz had allowed a batting average of  .366 the first time through the order -- it's difficult to imagine him being successful in relief.
     
Sure, the Red Sox could designated him as their mop-up man in  relief, brought in when the team has fallen behind early or jumped out to a huge lead in the middle innings.
     
But such scenarios can't be counted upon to provide Buchholz with enough regular opportunities, and even  if they did present themselves, there's no guarantee that Buchholz would thrive under such circumstances.
     
So, the club appears at a dead end -- unwilling to release Buchholz because of meager starting depth options and the likelihood that he might be needed in a few weeks or months, and unable to find a spot for him to get straightened out.
     
It's the ultimate conundrum, which, when you think about it, is the perfect way to view Buchholz's career.