Pregame notes: Lavarnway returned to Pawtucket

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Pregame notes: Lavarnway returned to Pawtucket

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON-- BOSTON -- Ryan Lavarnway, who hit .304 (7-for-23) with three RBI in his seven-game big league debut has been returned to Triple-A Pawtucket with right-hander Scott Atchison getting called up for his fifth stint this season. With three games scheduled in under 24 hours, including Saturdays doubleheader, manager Terry Francona was concerned about his pitching.

"We talked to Lavarnway Thursday last night after we kind of had a chance to talk before we left and decided that even with the three games coming up in two days we probably better protect our pitching so we got Atch here, Francona said. Hes been lengthened out to three innings at a time and weve all seen what he can do. Just really want to protect our bullpen. It would be nice to have the extra position player. Saying that, Lavarnway is a catcherDH. We have that. If you're going to protect your lineup in a doubleheader thats probably not what you do. So we swapped them out. Just want to protect our pitching.

Francona is not concerned, though, that the odd schedule has had an adverse effect on the pitching staff.

Weve never gotten to a point where Ive thought anybodysgottenoverdone or anything, he said. The odd times where things like that, I think you have to pay attention to it, not let somebody pitch three days in a row or something like that when they shouldnt, and we dont, but I dont think its ever gotten in the way of our pitching. And like on a day like today we went and got Atch so something doesnt happen. If we have a lead, were fine. But if something happens when someone exits early or were losing, then you can ruin your bullpen and thats why its important to have somebody here.

It is rare to have two consecutive days off in the baseball calendar. But the Red Sox find themselves with that unusual scenario Sunday because of the impending hurricane and Mondays scheduled off-day. Francona was uncertain if that would affect his pitching rotation.

I dont know, he said. Well get through this and then well figure that out. Obviously its not just cut and dried because its two days off and we dont have that very often, so well look at it.

Lavarnway will likely be back up when rosters expand in September.

The way he controlled the strike zone, Francona said of what he liked about Lavarnway. We only saw him catch two innings so thats a little bit hard to give a proper evaluation. But obviously a smart kid. He helped us win some games. Thats what we asked him to do. Its not an easy thing to do but I think the experience was probably really good for him. Hell be back. Hell be back as soon as we can get him back here, spend September with us and hopefully learn some more. Spending some time with bullpen coach Gary Tuck will be really important.

With left-hander Gio Gonzalez starting for the As tonight, and two righties, Guillermo Moscoso and Graham Godfrey, starting tomorrow, Carl Crawford is getting tonight off with Mike Aviles making his first professional appearance in left field. Crawford is expected to play both games of the doubleheader.

Were trying to give as many guys some time off as we can, Francona said. Theres only so much we can do. I thought Carl was actually cramping a little bit last night during the game. So with the late arrival and everything I thought it would be a good day because hell probably play both tomorrow.

J. D. Drew is expected to play tonight and Saturday with Single-A Lowell as rehab games as he makes his way back from the disabled list , where he has been since July 20 with a left shoulder impingement. He is expected to serve as the Spinners designated hitter tonight.

If things go well for Drew this weekend, he is expected to join the PawSox next week.

Right-hander Bobby Jenks, on the DL since July 8 with left back tightness, is expected to pitch one inning in a rehab assignment with the Single-A Salem Sox on Saturday. Where he pitches after that is dependent on the weather.

Were trying to move him to Triple A, Francona said. But theres some things to think about with the weather so, but pretty good chance well get him up to Triple A.

Kevin Youkilis, on the DL since Aug. 18 with a lower back strain, is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week with the PawSox.

Hes doing really well, Francona said. Hes probably going to go out and get a couple of at-bats Tuesday and Wednesday. I think theyre in Rochester. J.D. would do the same thing

Youkilis hit off a tee and took some soft toss Thursday and hit in the cage Friday.

Hes been making progress. Hes doing well. Hes doing fine, Francona said.

Except for a brief stop into Fenway on Aug. 16 and 17 when they played three games in about 27 hours, the Sox have virtually been on a road trip since Aug. 8. They are now home through Sept. 4, with three games against the As, three against the Yankees, and three against the Rangers.

Im hoping itll be terrific, Francona said of the homestand. The last time we were home it was almost like a continuation of the road trip. We were home for 24 hours or whatever it was, and three games. It was almost like more of a hindrance. But, hopefully, well take advantage of it on the field. But itll be nice to unpack for a little while. Its been a long time.

Reminder: Because of the approaching hurricane Sundays game has be rescheduled as the second game of Saturdays doubleheader and Saturdays scheduled game has been moved to an earlier start time. Saturdays scheduled game will begin at 12:00 noon in the first game of the doubleheader. The second game (originally scheduled for Sunday) will begin at 5 p.m.

Carl Crawford has been given the night off for Friday night's game against the A's, and Mike Aviles will play left field for the first time in his career. Crawford is expected to play both games on Saturday.

Kevin Youkilis will make a rehab appearance with the PawSox on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Other Red Sox rehab appearances: J.D. Drew will be in Lowell on Friday and Saturday, and Bobby Jenks will be with Salem on Saturday.

Tonight's Red Sox lineup:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Marco Scutaro SS
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Jed Lowrie 3B
Mike Aviles LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Darnell McDonald RF

Tim Wakefield P

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Pedro says David Price has shown signs of what it takes to be an ace

Pedro says David Price has shown signs of what it takes to be an ace

Pedro Martinez knows what it takes to be an ace. He also knows what it takes to pitch successfully in Boston.

And he believes David Price is capable of being the former and has the makeup to achieve the latter -- in time.

"I would just say, as a human being, I would say (he) has to make adjustments,'' said Martinez when asked what advice he would give Price. "It's the first year on a team that holds a lot of expectations. For David, it's just a matter of probably understanding how he feels comfortable around the things that he does, what David Price needs for David Price to feel more comfortable and make the adjustment as quick as possible.

"I believe he's capable of it. He's given a lot of signs that he's the ace we all expect. And, to be honest, I think he's going to be alright. It's just a matter of making the adjustment as quickly as possible.''

Whether Price may be trying too hard to justify his landmark $217 million deal, or unsure of how to handle the disappointing results he's provided, Martinez suggested that Price has to be mentally tough.

"Sometimes, it's within you what you can do,'' he said. "I think he has to trust what he can do. I think that probably trusting what he knows and what he's capable of doing would be the biggest key.''

Whatever the reason, Martinez doesn't believe there's a physical explanation for Price's struggles.

"I don't see anything wrong,'' he said. "His velocity is there. He can last eight, nine innings, easily. He's in great shape. He looks good overall, except some games just don't go his way and sometimes it doesn't look like everything (works) for him. But I believe he just has to trust what he is, the presence he has and his knowledge.

"It's up to you sometimes to say, 'Hey I know this. I know this situation, so I'm just going to go approach it.' And that's probably what he needs to do - is just trust who he is, what he knows and the stuff he has.''

When asked if he would approach Price and deliver a message, Martinez was careful.

''I don't want to invade anybody's territory,'' he said. "I would like to be respectful to him and also the coaching staff. I'm part of the organization. I'm here to help. But like I said, the biggest adjustment is the adjustment David Price makes. It's not really what Pedro says, or what Pedro used to do. David Price is David Price; Pedro Martinez is Pedro Martinez.''

Martinez was also asked about Clay Buchholz, who is currently serving a mop-up man in the bullpen.

"Bucky lost a little bit of confidence,'' said Martinez. "That's what it looks like to me. Right now, he doesn't really have a path to follow and I think he's missing (Jon) Lester, big time. He's missing (John) Lackey. He's missing probably relating to someone just like him, who really understands him from back (in the day) -- David Ross, Jason Varitek.

"I think he's mature enough to kind of understand what to do. But some people don't actually have that ability to understand what to do when times of struggles come.''

Finally, Martinez was asked about his reaction to the Red Sox dealing away pitching phenom Anderson Espinoza in the trade for Drew Pomeranz. Martinez had been a vocal supporter of Espinoza and predicted stardom for him.

"The thing is, you have to understand, this team is trying to work for today, for this year. That's the reason you produce those kind of players, so you can have the flexibility to move to different areas,” Martinez said. “I was extremely proud that I was part of the (group) that saw Espinoza from the first time and hopefully now the trade we made is going to end up helping us win the championship.

"And Espinoza probably will feel really proud that, if we win it this year, he was probably the biggest reason.''

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam

Report: Benintendi ‘front man’ in Chris Sale trade talks

Report: Benintendi ‘front man’ in Chris Sale trade talks

Any Red Sox trade discussions the past few weeks have pretty much begun and ended with their top two prospects, second baseman Yoan Moncada and outfielder Andrew Benintendi.

As the Red Sox continue their search for starting pitching, those two names keep coming up. So, naturally, comes a report Tuesday that puts Benintendi at the center of a deal for Chicago White Sox left-handed ace Chris Sale. 

Andrew Benintendi “could be the front man in a multi-player Chris Sale trade if talks progress,” according to Chicago-based mlb.com columnist Phil Rogers. 

With top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza dealt to the Padres in trade for Drew Pomeranz, the question is, would Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski further deplete his prospect reserve by dealing Benintendi, the 2015 first-round pick out of Arkansas who is hitting .276 with six homers and 36 RBI in 58 games at Double-A Portland? 

The Red Sox' performance is the next six games until the Aug. 1 trade deadline may hold the answer. 

 

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Wright tries to right Sox

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Wright tries to right Sox

The Red Sox send knuckleballer Steven Wright (12-5, American League-leading 2.57 ERA) to the mound tonight in the middle game of their three-game series with the Detroit Tigers. 

Wright has won his past four starts. The Tigers counter with right-hander Mike Pelfrey (3-9, 4.78). The Red Sox field their standard lineup, with Ryan Hanigan catching Wright, as they try to rebound from a 4-2 loss on Monday night. 

The lineups:

TIGERS
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jose Iglesias SS
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Nick Castellanos 3B
Justin Upton LF
Mike Aviles RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Tyler Collins CF

Mike Pelfrey

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Ryan Hanigan C
Brock Holt LF

Steven Wright RHP