Notes: Red Sox plan to throw Bedard Tuesday

520566.jpg

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

Top prospect Yoan Moncada will join Red Sox on Friday

Top prospect Yoan Moncada will join Red Sox on Friday

BOSTON - The Boston Red Sox have announced they will call up top prospect Yoan Moncada when rosters expand from the current 25-man limit.

Earlier Wednesday, Farrell wouldn't officially confirm the imminent promotion but hinted that the Red Sox appeared ready to call up their top prospect.

Farrell first noted that the Red Sox "need better production'' at third base, where both Travis Shaw and Aaron Hill have struggled mightily at the position.

Moncada, a natural second baseman, was shifted to third base earlier this month at Double A Portland. Moncada has a slash line of .285/.388/.547 with 11 homers and 27 RBI in 44 games.

Asked specifically about the potential of a call-up for Moncada, Farrell said: "We've talked about Yoan. And not just as a pinch-runner. It's an exciting young player, an extremely talented guy. There's all positive reviews and evaluations of him.

"When that major league experience is going to initiate, time will tell that. But in terms of playing the position of third base [in the big leagues], that conversation has been had.''

Previously, the Red Sox had resisted bringing Moncada to the big leagues, worried that he wouldn't be in the lineup often enough to continue his development. The Sox didn't want him to miss out on additional experience in the minors by playing only part-time in the majors.

But now that the minor league seasons are about to end -- Portland finishes Labor Day -- there's nothing in the minors for Moncada to miss.

"This is a different scenario than if it were July or early August,'' said Farrell. "The minor league season ends [soon], so is there benefit to him just being here? The answer to that is yes. Do you weigh playing 'X' number of games per week versus what he could be doing at Portland or Pawtucket? Well, that goes away [with the minor league regular seasons end].

"So, again, by all accounts, there's nothing but positives that could come out of experience here -- if that were to happen.''

 Moncada's promotion is similar to the one experience by Xander Bogaerts in 2013, who was brought up in the final week of August 2013 and remained with the club all the way through the end of the team's World Series run that fall, taking playing time from struggling third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

 "For those who have been around this team for a number of years,'' said Farrell, "teams that have had success have always had an injection of young players late in the season that have helped carry the team through the postseason. I think Yoan would be in a similar category to when Pedey [Dustin Pedroia], when Jake [Jacoby Ellsbury] came into the picture. And Andrew (Benintendi) is already here, so I wouldn't separate [Moncada] out from that at all.

"In fact, he's a direct comparison [to those cases].’’

Farrell agreed that the arrival of a young, highly-touted player can inject some energy into a team in the throes of a pennant race.

"Absolutely, there is,'' said Farrell. "You've got a newness element. You've got, likely, above-average speed. You've got athleticism. You've got the unknown across the field on how does a given [opposing] team attack a given guy.

"In the cases we've talked about, it has been beneficial to us for the young player to come up. They find a way to contribute in a meaningful role. "

Without saying that Moncada's promotion was a definite,  he said "there's a lot [of positives]going for it.''

Farrell also acknowledged that the Sox held internal discussions about how Moncada would be utilized, given that the switch-hitter has been far more productive from the left side of the plate.

"We've talked about what's strong side, how do you look to best ease him in, so to speak,'' said Farrell. "We thought that with Benintendi, how do we best ease him in. Well, he blew the doors off of that one [with his early success]. So, if it happens, and if begins here soon, you'll all be aware.''

Farrell said the reports of Moncada's transition to third base have been encouraging despite three errors in his first nine games there.

"He's shown good range, an above-average arm,'' said Farrell. "Where there will be ongoing work and continued development, just as there was at second base, is the ball hit straight at him. That's just pure technique and fundamental positioning with hands and feet.

"But as far as range to his glove side, moving to third base, that seemingly has not been that big of a challenge for him.''